Russia says it has neutralized the cutthroat REvil ransomware gang

Skull and crossbones in binary code

Russian legislation enforcement authorities stated on Friday that they’ve arrested 14 individuals related to REvil, a high ransomware group that has disrupted essential operations of rich targets and held their information hostage.

The motion, carried out by Russia’s FSB, the successor company to the KGB, is a uncommon instance of the nation’s authorities cracking down on cybercrime by its residents. The US and Russia haven’t any extradition treaty in place, and critics have stated the Kremlin routinely harbors cybercriminals so long as they don’t goal organizations positioned within the former Soviet Union. The arrests come as tensions between Russia and the US escalate over a standoff involving Ukraine.

Huge-game hunter neutralized

“The FSB of Russia established the complete composition of the legal group ‘REvil’ and the involvement of its members within the unlawful circulation of technique of fee and documented unlawful actions,” Russian officers wrote. “In an effort to implement the legal plan, these individuals developed malicious software program and arranged the theft of funds from the financial institution accounts of overseas residents and their cashing, together with by buying costly items on the Web.”

Friday’s launch added: “On account of joint actions of the FSB and the Ministry of Inside Affairs of Russia, the organized legal group ceased to exist. The knowledge infrastructure used for legal functions was neutralized.”

REvil first appeared in April 2019 and shortly developed a status for its technical prowess and hard-nosed techniques, which included extremely customizable ransomware and public shaming of its victims. The gang has practiced what’s identified in ransomware circles as big-game looking, which means it focused organizations with pockets deep sufficient to pay charges within the tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars}. In April of this 12 months, researchers ranked REvil because the No. 3 ransomware group, chargeable for about 4 % of assaults on the private and non-private sectors.

REvil victims included the large worldwide meat and poultry producer JBS SA, which in June was hit with an assault that shut down some operations. Different REvil victims embrace a legislation agency that represented Woman Gaga and different celebrities. Software program agency Kaseya was additionally breached, resulting in the an infection of about 1,500 organizations that sought companies from Kaseya or one in every of its prospects. In October, REvil shut down its Completely happy Weblog shaming web site after members stated their infrastructure was hacked.

A joint operation between the FSB and native police searched 25 addresses and detained 14 individuals; it additionally seized 426 million rubles, $600,000, 500,000 euros, pc gear, and 20 luxurious vehicles, Friday’s launch stated. Russian officers stated they instantly knowledgeable their US counterparts of the motion. The authorities carried out the operation following a request from the US, the FSB stated.

Final 12 months, President Biden repeatedly pressed his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to arrest cybercrime syndicates in Russia and warned that assaults on pipelines and comparable essential infrastructure wouldn’t be tolerated.

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