European law enforcement authorities revealed Monday that seven suspected hackers related to ransomware attacks that have affected thousands of people have been arrested since February as part of a global cybercrime campaign.
According to a US official who was not authorised to discuss the topic by name before of a news conference and spoke on the condition of anonymity, the FBI and the Justice Department were anticipated to announce criminal charges related to ransomware as well as the recovery of $6 million later Monday.
Europol said two suspected hackers affiliated to the ransomware ring known as REvil were arrested last week for involvement in operations that netted roughly $580,000 in ransom payments. Last week, Kuwaiti police apprehended yet another suspected hacker, bringing the total number of arrests in South Korea to three since February. A seventh was apprehended in Europe last month.
The arrests were made as part of the GoldDust law enforcement investigation, which encompassed the US and 16 other countries. REvil, also known as Sodinokibi, has been linked to ransomware attacks against the world’s largest meat processor, JBS SA, as well as a Fourth of July weekend attack that disrupted businesses all over the world thanks to a breach of a Florida-based software firm named Kaseya.
The Justice Department unveiled criminal charges against a suspected Ukrainian hacker named Yaroslav Vasinskyi in federal court in Dallas on Monday. Vasinskyi is accused of assisting in the deployment of the Sodinokibi ransomware against targets across the country, including businesses and financial institutions.
In an interview with The Associated Press last week, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco seemed to hint at Monday’s news, saying that “in the days and weeks to come, you’re going to see additional arrests” as well as seizures of ransomware proceeds.
The Justice Department has explored a variety of approaches to combat a ransomware outbreak that it considers a national security and economic threat. Foreign hacker arrests are noteworthy for the Justice Department because many of them operate in nations that do not extradite their own nationals to the United States for punishment.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, Monaco, and FBI Director Christopher Wray were scheduled to attend at a Justice Department news conference on Monday afternoon to make a “major” law enforcement statement, according to authorities.
Following a ransomware assault that prompted the company to briefly suspend operations, causing fuel shortages in sections of the country, the Justice Department seized $2.3 million in cryptocurrencies from a payment made by Colonial Pipeline in June.
The Shining Media is an independent news website and channel, covering updates from the world of Politics, Entertainment, Sports, International, National, and a lot more.