Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Ukraine, Russia accused of US ransomware attack

US prosecutors said on Monday they had charged a Ukrainian man with launching a ransomware attack in July at a US firm that infected 1,500 businesses worldwide.

Officials also announced that they had seized $6 million in ransom payments made to a Russian national for launching more than 3,000 other attacks targeting US companies.

An indictment filed by the Justice Department in the southwestern state of Texas accused Yaroslav Wasinski, a Ukrainian national arrested in Poland last month, of uncovering a ransomware attack on Florida-based firm Kasia, a global information technology software infrastructure supplier. Which in turn influenced its customers across the world.

Vasinsky and another alleged REWIL operative, Russian citizen Yevgeny Polyanin, who was accused in other attacks, were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, among other charges.

The US Treasury Department also said that the two men would face sanctions for their roles in carrying out other ransomware attacks in the US as well as creating a virtual currency exchange called Chatex to facilitate financial transactions for ransomware actors. Is.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wasinski was actually charged six weeks after the July attacks.

“His arrest demonstrates how quickly we will act with our international partners to identify, trace and apprehend alleged cybercriminals, wherever they are,” Garland said.

Attorney General Merrick Garland, center, with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, left, and FBI Director Christopher Wray, right, speak at a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, November 8, 2021.

US President Joe Biden has urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop providing safe havens to cybercriminals in Russia, which is believed to be the start of several attacks. Hackers have remotely shut down companies’ computer operations and demanded millions of dollars in ransom for companies to resume their operations.

Officials said the July attack corrupted a widely used software tool made by Kasia, and its customers were immediately infected with Revil Encryption. Some companies paid ransoms totaling millions of dollars in cryptocurrency to resume business operations, although a master decryption key was eventually recovered by authorities and distributed weeks later.

Many of the 1,500 companies affected by the attack on Kasia use their software to handle back-office tasks because they are too small to have their own technology departments.

Wasinski, 22, is being held in Poland pending US extradition proceedings, while Pauline, 28, remains at large.

Wasinski’s indictment alleges that he and other conspirators launched the hacking software around April 2019 and updated and refined it “regularly”.

Europol said on Monday that Romanian authorities last week arrested two individuals on suspicion of cyberattack using Revil ransomware, while three others were arrested earlier this year.

Europol said on Friday that 12 people suspected of mounting ransomware attacks against companies or infrastructure in 71 countries were “targeted” in raids in Ukraine and Switzerland.


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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