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Thursday, December 2, 2021

U.S. accuses Ukrainian and Russian nationals of ransomware attacks

The US authorities have filed criminal charges against a Ukrainian and a Russian national because they played an important role in the high-profile ransomware attack as part of the global fight against digital ransomware groups.

The US Department of Justice said on Monday that it has charged 22-year-old Ukrainian Yaroslav Vasinskyi with one of the world’s largest supply chain ransomware attacks, the Kaseya hacking, etc. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the United States said it was seeking to extradite Vasinski, who was arrested in Poland after crossing the border from Ukraine.

A large-scale hacking attack in July attacked Kaseya, an information technology management software provider, and its approximately 1,500 customers and their customers. The attack forced the Swedish supermarket chain Coop to close its 800 stores.

Garland said the United States has also accused Yevgeniy Polyanin, a 28-year-old Russian national, of suspicion of targeting US government entities and private sector companies in approximately 3,000 attacks, with an estimated profit of $13 million. He added that the United States had withheld a ransom of $6.1 million from his activities, and he was believed to be abroad.

The US authorities stated that the two individuals are members of Sodinokibi/REvil, a prolific ransomware group linked to Russia. The US Treasury Department stated that the group received more than $200 million in cryptocurrency from the victims. ransom.

These measures-also involving the authorities in Poland, Romania, Ukraine, France, Estonia, Latvia, and Germany-mark the most important and coordinated effort by the United States to contain the recent series of ransomware attacks, in which hackers seized a company’s Data and demand a ransom.

Also on Monday, Europol announced that Romania’s law enforcement agencies Has been arrested Two ransomware hackers related to the Sodinokibi/REvil ransomware cartel.

Many Western security experts said that President Joe Biden’s government should take a tougher approach to Moscow in particular, because it is understood that most ransomware criminals live in Russia or Russian-speaking countries, where they can get away with it.

At a June summit, Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that 16 critical infrastructure areas spanning energy, health, and water should be “banned from attack” by the Internet or other means, and urged responsible countries to adopt Take action against criminals who engage in criminal activities. Carrying out ransomware activities on their territory. However, the attacks by these groups seem to increase unabated.

When asked whether Russia condones or is aware of illegal activities, Garland said: “We expect and hope that any government where one of these ransomware actors is located will do everything in their power to provide this person to us for prosecution.”

The U.S. State Department stated that it will provide up to 10 million U.S. dollars in rewards for any information about the identity or location of anyone leading to a leadership position in the Sodinokibi/REvil group, and an additional 5 million U.S. dollars for participation in Sodinokibi/REvil. Any individual convicted of the REvil ransomware incident.

Fearing that anonymous digital assets can be used for money laundering, US authorities have also stepped up scrutiny of the ever-expanding encryption industry.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on Chatex on Monday, a virtual currency exchange that allegedly “facilitated the trading of multiple ransomware variants” and also imposed “substances” on three allegedly provided Chatex. The “support and help” group imposed sanctions.

According to the Ministry of Finance, more than half of Chatex’s transactions are directly related to “illegal or high-risk activities,” such as making payments in underground markets on the dark web and allowing money laundering by ransomware groups. It also stated that Chatex used services provided by Suez, a virtual currency exchange that was sanctioned by the United States in September for similar allegations.

Additional reporting by Katrina Manson in Washington

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