United States announced $10 million bounty to gather data on ‘Blackcat’ hackers that targeted UnitedHealth

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US Department of Health says UnitedHealth can alert patients to a data breach
US Department of Health says UnitedHealth can alert patients to a data breach

The US State Department offered up to $10 million for information on the “Blackcat” ransomware gang, which targeted UnitedHealth Group’s computer business and disrupted insurance payments across the country.

The US State Department offered up to $10 million on Wednesday for information on the “Blackcat” ransomware gang that targeted UnitedHealth Group’s computer unit and disrupted insurance payments across the country.

“The ALPHV Blackcat ransomware-as-a-service group compromised computer networks of critical infrastructure sectors in the United States and worldwide,” the department stated in a statement announcing the incentive offer.

UnitedHealth announced last week that it was beginning to clear a medical claims backlog of more than $14 billion as it restored services following the cyberattack, which caused widespread disruption beginning in late February.

UnitedHealth’s technology subsidiary, Change Healthcare, is important in processing payments from insurance companies to practitioners, and the cyberattack-caused downtime has left some patients and doctors out of pocket. The toll on community health centers, which serve more than 30 million poor and uninsured patients, has been particularly severe.

Hackers claimed earlier this month that UnitedHealth paid a $22 million ransom to recover its computers, but whether Blackcat kept its part of the agreement has not been revealed. Shortly after the attack, the group issued a fraudulent press release on its website, falsely claiming that it had been seized by law authorities, giving the appearance that it had ceased activities.

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