The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) announced on Friday that it attacked and discontinued the infamous ransomware gang REvil.
In the unprecedented move – which will undoubtedly send a message to other ransomware groups operating abroad – the Russian authorities raided 25 addresses in the Moscow, St. Petersburg, Leningrad and Lipetsk regions, the 14 suspected members of REvil.
The gang that shut down in July, but before that a failed comeback in September, reportedly orchestrated some of the most malicious attacks in the past 12 months, including those targeting Colonial pipeline, JBS groceries and US technology company Kaseya
The FSB said it had more than 426 million rubles and 500,000 euros (approx.
In a statement, the FSB said it carried out the search at the request of US authorities, who were notified of the results.
The detained members of the ransomware gang were charged with alleged “illegal circulation of currency” under Russian law. The Russian authorities have not disclosed the names of the suspects.
“As a result of joint actions by the FSB and the Russian Interior Ministry, organized crime has perished and the information infrastructure used for criminal purposes has been neutralized,” said a statement by the FSB.
The news of the FSB’s surprise operation comes just two months after the US Justice Department indicted a 22-year-old Ukrainian citizen who was with the REvil ransomware Gang for orchestrating the July ransomware attack against US technology company Kaseya. Seven other members of the REvil gang were also arrested in 2021 after operations coordinated by Europol. In July, President Biden urged Russia to follow suit and urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to take action to disrupt these criminal gangs.
The FSB’s actions also come just hours after a major cyberattack on Friday destroyed government websites in Ukraine, including websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Security and Defense Council and the government’s Cabinet of Ministers. Officials said it was too early to draw conclusions but pointed to a “long history” of Russian cyberattacks on Ukraine.
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