U.S. offers $10M reward for info on UnitedHealth hackers

A row of computers is seen at the FBI's Jacksonville, Fla., field office. File Photo courtesy U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation

March 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department is offering a $10 million reward for information identifying or locating any member of the ALPHV BlackCat ransomware group that attacked U.S. insurance UnitedHealth Group in February.

ALPHV BlackCat is ransomware developed by a cybercriminal group of the same name that was first detected in November of 2021.

According to the FBI, affiliates of the group use the malware to target computer systems, stealing confidential information that they then demand payment in the millions of dollars from their victims to return under threat that if they are not paid they will publish the contents of their theft.

The affiliate groups then shares a percentage of the proceeds with ALPHC BlackCat.

Change Healthcare, a subsidiary of the UnitedHealth group, identified the intrusion on Feb. 21 that caused wide-ranging issues.

In a statement on March 18, UnitedHealth, which provides care for 152 million people, said it had paid more than $2 billion to help healthcare providers affected by the attack.

The company added that Change Healthcare would begin releasing medical claims preparation software as it moved toward the resumption of services.

The $10 million reward is being offered by the State Department's Rewards for Justice Program, which has paid out more than $250 million to some 125 people across the globe since its inception in 1984.

The announcement from the State Department comes a little more than a month after it offered rewards of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of ALPHC BlackCat leaders and $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of anyone participating in one of its ransomeware attacks.

According to the State Department, ALPHC BlackCat has accumulated more than 1,000 victim entities worldwide. In December, the FBI disrupted one of its operations that the State Department said saved victims from a total of $99 million in ransom demands.