The state department is offering digital currency rewards of up to ten million dollars to hackers who allegedly help them gather information on bad actors.
The State Department Seeks to Pay Those Who Can Find Bad Actors
Over the past few months, cyberattacks have become far more prominent, with incidents like the one involving the Poly Network leaving accounts dry of more than $600 million. While much of that money has been returned and the hacker appears to be a little “nicer” than the public initially thought, the fact remains that the crypto space and several other industries are vulnerable, and regulators are looking for a way to ensure malicious incidents don’t occur in the future.
A spokesman for the state department explained the branch’s ideas in a recent interview:
Within our program, there’s a tremendous amount of enthusiasm because we’re really pushing the envelope every chance we get to try and reach audiences, sources, and people who may have information that helps improve our national security. It’s been edgy for some government agencies, perhaps, but we’re going to keep pushing forward in many ways.
Over the past few months, various members of the Biden administration have claimed that hackers in both China and Russia are responsible for breaching U.S. departments and industries. They believe that the key to ensuring attacks like these don’t occur again is through employing the very people they have been trained to fear. These individuals – given their cyber backgrounds – know how to find bugs and open doors, and thus have the knowledge about what to do to fix these problems.
A second state department member that refused to go on record explained:
Something on the dark web that allows total anonymity, along with an initial level of security is probably more appropriate for those folks, so just finding people where they are and reaching them with the technology on which they are most comfortable, I think, is the name of the game for Rewards for Justice.
Right now, the program is offering up to $10 million in digital reward money for anyone that can help locate or identify state hackers that have somehow infiltrated the American water system, the country’s power grids or its transportation system. However, there is also a separate $25 million crypto reward being offered to anyone who can find high-ranking members of terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda.
Trying to Keep America Safe?
The first state department member explained that this is all part of the current administration’s plans to keep the nation and the people in it safe:
We’ve been working on this for quite a while, and it coincided at a very good time that we managed to get this rolled out as critical infrastructure and ransomware were at the top of the news cycle, so to speak, and a major concern for the US government.