WASHINGTON (AP). In the United States of America, two alleged criminal hackers were indicted in connection with a wave of ransomware attacks, including one that temporarily shut down the world’s largest meat processing plant and the other at the Fourth Meeting. the July weekend, US officials said Monday.
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Attorney General Merrick Garland and other senior officials have announced charges against Ukrainian Yaroslav Vasinsky and Russian Yevgeny Polyanin, claiming they are members of the REvil extortionist gang. Officials said Vasinsky was recently arrested in Poland and that the US government had collected $ 6.1 million in illicit funds from Polyanin.
“The Justice Department spares no resources to identify and prosecute anyone, anywhere, who attacks the United States with a ransomware program,” Garland said.
The Treasury also announced sanctions against the pair, in what it said was the Chatex virtual currency exchange, which it said was being used by extortionist gangs.
REvil, also known as Sodinokibi, has been linked in recent months to ransomware targeting the world’s largest meat processing plant, JBS SA, as well as a weekend attack on the 4th of July that hit companies around the world, hacking the software company. software from Florida. – Kaseya called.
European law enforcement also announced on Monday that they have arrested two other suspected ransomware operators with links to REvil in Romania. They are among seven hackers suspected of being linked to ransomware attacks targeting thousands of victims and arrested since February last year as part of a global suppression of cybercrime, European said.
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None of these arrested hackers were identified by name, but Europol said two suspected hackers were arrested last week, believed to be linked to the ransomware gang known as REvil for participating in the attacks that resulted in a ransom was received in the amount of about $ 580,000. Last week, the Kuwaiti authorities arrested another accused of hacking, and since February of last year, the South Korean authorities have arrested three. The seventh was arrested last month in Europe. The arrests were part of a law enforcement investigation called GoldDust, which involved the United States and 16 other countries.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco appeared to have anticipated Monday’s statement in an interview with The Associated Press last week, saying that “in the coming days and weeks, you will see more arrests,” as well as the confiscation of ransomware proceeds.
The Justice Department has tried several ways to combat the wave of ransomware that it sees as a threat to national security and the economy. Arrests of foreign hackers are significant to the Department of Justice, as many of them operate in countries of refuge that do not surrender their own US citizens to prosecution.
“There are many reasons why people travel, and I cannot go into the specific reasons why Mr. Vasinsky traveled, but we are glad he did,” said FBI Director Christopher Ray.
In June, the Justice Department confiscated $ 2.3 million in cryptocurrency from a payment made by Colonial Pipeline following a ransomware attack that temporarily suspended the company, resulting in fuel shortages in parts of the country.
Associated Press author Jake Bleiberg of Dallas contributed to this report.