The largest economy in the world is offering crypto assets to incentivize white-hat hackers to explore dark web activities.
Information relating to the activities of state-backed hackers and terrorists is being rewarded in cryptocurrency by the United States government.
As part of “Rewards for Justice,” the State Department has opened a platform where informants can submit anonymous information and be rewarded with digital assets.
During the Black Hat USA event in Las Vegas, users were able to submit tips via an unsecured Wi-Fi network called #Rewardsnotransoms.
A secure portal on the dark web allows informants to provide sensitive information. This layer of the internet cannot be accessed by commercial companies or search engines. Information on various terrorist suspects, extremists, and state-sponsored hackers can earn informants rewards up to $10 million. The informants have the option of receiving cryptocurrency assets as compensation.
RFJ’s program solicits information from hackers with relevant skills and expertise in an attempt to prevent these attacks.
Cyber-enforcement operations are “not easily accomplished,” according to a State Department official.
“We have tips coming in. Tips are being evaluated. The interagency partners will receive those tips. After that information is collected, they need to reach out to begin the investigation,” they said.
What you should know
Former U.S. National Counterintelligence Desk Director William Evanina called the initiative the most open approach to crypto-assets ever taken by the U.S. government.
A number of United States government agencies and departments were hacked by Russian and Chinese hackers earlier this year, the Biden administration alleged. In early June, U.S. officials recovered around $2.3 million in cryptocurrency used to pay a ransom following a cyber-attack on the Colonial Pipeline system.