Russia says it has neutralized the cutthroat REvil ransomware gang

Russian legislation enforcement authorities stated on Friday that they’ve arrested 14 individuals related to REvil, a prime ransomware group that has disrupted vital operations of rich targets and held their knowledge 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 don’t have any extradition treaty in place, and critics have stated the Kremlin routinely harbors cybercriminals so long as they don’t goal organizations situated in the former Soviet Union. The arrests come as tensions between Russia and the US escalate over a standoff involving Ukraine.

Big-game hunter neutralized

“The FSB of Russia established the full composition of the criminal community ‘REvil’ and the involvement of its members in the illegal circulation of means of payment and documented illegal activities,” Russian officers wrote. “In order to implement the criminal plan, these persons developed malicious software and organized the theft of funds from the bank accounts of foreign citizens and their cashing, including by purchasing expensive goods on the Internet.”

Friday’s launch added: “As a result of joint actions of the FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, the organized criminal community ceased to exist. The information infrastructure used for criminal purposes was neutralized.”

REvil first appeared in 2019 and rapidly developed a fame for its technical prowess and hard-nosed tactics, which included extremely customizable ransomware and public shaming of its victims. The gang has practiced what’s recognized in ransomware circles as big-game looking, that means it focused organizations with pockets deep sufficient to pay charges in the tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars}. In April of final 12 months, researchers ranked REvil as the No. 3 ransomware group, accountable for about 4 percent 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. Other REvil victims embody a legislation agency that represented Lady Gaga and different celebrities. Software firm Kaseya was additionally breached, resulting in the an infection of about 1,500 organizations that sought providers from Kaseya or one in every of its prospects. In October, REvil shut down its Happy Blog shaming 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, laptop tools, and 20 luxurious cars, Friday’s launch stated. Russian officers stated they straight knowledgeable their US counterparts of the motion. The authorities carried out the operation following a request from the US, the FSB stated.

Last 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 vital infrastructure wouldn’t be tolerated.

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