- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 6, 2020

The State Department is offering rewards of up to $10 million for information on cybercriminals looking to interfere in the 2020 election at the direction of a foreign government.

The Rewards for Justice program run by the Diplomatic Security Service announced the multimillion-dollar reward program this week in hopes of identifying hackers before they attempt to upend the 2020 election.

“RFJ is offering up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of any person who, while acting at the direction of or under the control of a foreign government, interferes with any U.S. federal, state, or local elections,” reads a bulletin posted on the Rewards for Justice website. “If you have any information on malicious cyber operations targeting U.S. elections or its infrastructure, please contact us at the tip lines below.”

The program posted the bulletins in eight different languages on its website, including Arabic, Chinese-script, English, Farsi, French, Korean, Russian and Spanish. The tip lines include a phone number and a QR code that can be scanned.

The multimillion-dollar reward program comes as cybersecurity professionals are warning about the integrity of the upcoming election.

Nearly a third of cybersecurity experts and hackers attending the Black Hat USA 2020 conference think cyberattacks and disinformation will ensure the upcoming election’s results will “always be in doubt,” according to a survey of 273 attendees conducted in advance of the conference.

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director Chris Krebs, however, told attendees at the conference this week that the November election would be the “most protected election in modern history.”

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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