Russian hacker Evgeniy Bogachev was indicted ten months ago in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on multiple federal charges relating to cyber criminal activity. The only problem is that the Department of Justice has no idea where he is.
Since then, the DOJ has employed an age-old technique that they are hoping will entice someone to turn in the 31-year-old to US authorities. They have placed a hefty bounty on his head.
The U.S. government is offering $3 million to anyone with information that leads to the apprehension of the Russian.
Bogachev’s picture has since been plastered on FBI ‘Wanted’ posters all over the world.
“We’ve really not done something like this” in cyber cases, said Robert Anderson, an FBI executive assistant director. “All of a sudden, somebody’s putting an ‘X’ on somebody, saying, ‘Bring him to justice, you get $3 million.’”
The reward is being offered under a two-year-old State Department program that has so far paid out over $20 million for the whereabouts of fugitives. Although this is the first case where a bounty has been offered on a cyber criminal, the program has led to the arrest of international smugglers and wildlife traffickers, among others.
“Time will tell whether this is a successful tactic or not,” according to Shawn Henry, a retired executive assistant director of the FBI and president of CrowdStrike Services, a security technology company. “It’s a strategy, and it’s certainly not the sole strategy.”