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Russian govt to keep funds seized from cybercriminals


A proposed bill would allow the Russian government to keep any material gain cybercriminals made from illicit activities.

Two Russian government officials proposed a bill that would allow the state to confiscate any property that was obtained as a result of cybercrimes, Russia’s business newspaper Kommersant claims.

The bill was introduced by the Chairman of the Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption Vasily Piskarev, and Senator Andrei Klishas, who claim that the state could later use seized funds to compensate victims of cybercrime.

While the proposition itself is hardly revolutionary, the pool of funds obtained through cybercrime could be a welcome addition to Russia’s coffers, pressured by the 9-month-long war the Kremlin started in Ukraine.

Given Russia is harboring an extensive ecosystem supporting global cybercrime, government officials are likely looking at hundreds of millions of dollars, ripe for taking. For example, the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) claims that several prominent ransomware cartels, such as Lockbit, Conti, BlackCat, Hive, Karakut, and many others, operate from Russia.

Some hackers don’t even hide their wealth. Earlier this year, British journalists located Yevgeniy Polyanin, a 28-year-old hacker wanted by the FBI for deploying the REvil/Sodinokibi ransomware. The hacker was found to be living in a $380,000 house in Barnaul, a Russian city housing 610,000 residents in the Altai region.

Researchers have also found that a staggering 74% of all ransomware revenue went to threat actors affiliated with Russia in 2021. In other words, around $400 million worth of cryptocurrency filled the pockets of cyber criminals connected to Russia in some form.


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