The US government on Monday indicted a Ukrainian suspect arrested in Poland last month of using the REvil ransomware against multiple companies and government agencies across the country, including the attack on the software company Kaseya, the latest measure to combat the Cybercrime represents further attacks to be grouped and contained.
According to unsealed court documents, 22-year-old Yaroslav Vasinskyi is allegedly Part of the ransomware operation since at least March 2019 and carried out around 2,500 attacks against companies worldwide. Vasinskyi (aka Profcomserv, Rabotnik, Rabotnik_New, Yarik45, Yaraslav2468 and Affiliate 22) was arrested on October 8 at the Polish border after an international arrest warrant was issued at the behest of the US authorities.
In another major development, the Justice Department announced the seizure of alleged ransomware payments totaling 6.1 million Texas corporations and government agencies dated 08/16/2019.
Vasinskyi and Polyanin were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and related computer-related activities, major damage to protected computers, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. If convicted on all counts, both defendants face a maximum sentence of 115 and 145 years in prison, respectively.
“Ransomware can bring a company to a standstill in minutes. These two defendants used some of the most malicious codes on the Internet, created by REvil, to hijack victims’ computers, “Acting US Attorney Chad E. Meacham for the Northern District of Texas said in a statement. “The department will go into the darkest corners of the internet and into the most remote corners of the world to track down cyber criminals.”
The latest development comes amid a spate of law enforcement activities carried out by Europol as part of Operation GoldDustwhich led to the arrest of six other REvil ransomware partners besides Vasinskyi in Romania, Kuwait and South Korea. The ransomware gang REvil is said to have raised more than $ 200 million since its inception and to have encrypted at least 175,000 computers worldwide.
At the same time as the arrests, the US government has announced it offers a Reward of up to $ 10 million for information leading to the identification or location of the primary culprits behind the REvil ransomware, in addition to paying up to $ 5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of anyone in any country for the REvil ransomware Attacks are involved.
In addition, the US Treasury Department sanctions imposed against Chatex, a virtual currency exchange, for “facilitating financial transactions for ransomware actors”, after a similar term against the Russian cryptocurrency exchange SUEX in September 2021.
“An analysis of Chatex’s known transactions shows that over half are directly attributable to illegal or high-risk activities such as darknet markets, high-risk exchanges and ransomware,” the department said. “Chatex has direct links with SUEX OTC, SRO (Suex) and uses Suex’s function as a nested exchange to conduct transactions.”
The arrests and sanctions are part of a bigger push to get around Fight against ransomware attackswhich have increased in frequency and scope this year, endangering critical infrastructure and causing millions in damage, prompting international authorities to respond effectively to such interventions, while at the same time counteracting the misuse of cryptocurrency channels to launder ransom payments.
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