Russia eliminates high-profile hackers

The REvil group, which hit a US software company last year, was knocked down at Washington’s request


(AFP file photo)

MOSCOW: Russia said on Friday it had dismantled the REvil hacker group, which last year, upon request from Washington, carried out a high-profile attack on a US software company that affected companies in at least 17 countries.

Cyber ​​security was one of the main topics on the agenda of a summit meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden last June.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a statement on Friday that it had “suppressed the illegal activities” of members of the group during raids on 25 addresses that captured 14 people.

The searches were carried out after an “appeal by the relevant US authorities”.

Members of the group “developed malware, organized the embezzlement of funds from the bank accounts of foreign nationals,” said the FSB.

The statement said the equivalent of 426 million rubles ($ 5.5 million) and 20 luxury cars were confiscated in the operation.

During a phone call in July, Biden called on Putin to “crack down on” ransomware groups operating in Russia, warning that otherwise Washington would take “all necessary measures” to defend the Americans.

The unprecedented attack on the US software company Kaseya affected an estimated 1,500 companies.

The Kaseya attack, which was reported on July 2, crippled a large Swedish supermarket chain and ricocheted around the world, affecting businesses in at least 17 countries, from pharmacies to gas stations, as well as dozen of New Zealand kindergartens.

Shortly after the attack, REvil’s “Dark Web” site went offline, sparking speculation as to whether the move was the result of government-led action.

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