US seizes $6 million in ransom payments to REvil, to charge Ukrainian over cyberattack

US law enforcement officials have seized $6 million in ransom payments, and the Justice Department is expected to announce it has charged a suspect.

The suspect is a Ukrainian national suspected of involvement in a July ransomware attack on an American company, Reuters claims CNN reported on Monday.

Yaroslav Vasinskyi, a Ukrainian national arrested in Poland last month, is to face US charges for deploying ransomware known as REvil, which has been used in hacks that have cost US firms millions of dollars, according to the CNN report.

US tech provider Kaseya was hit by REvil last July in a cyber-attack that was named one of the most significant ransomware attacks.

The infamous REvil ransomware group, responsible for extortion attacks against meat supplier JBS and software company Kaseya, announced it was going offline for a second time recently.

According to media reports, the sudden shutdown was caused by a multi-country operation. Law enforcement and intelligence cyber specialists were able to hack REvil's computer network infrastructure, obtaining control of at least some of their servers.

After the first REvil shut down in July, groups spokesperson 'Unknown' dropped off the internet and was considered dead other gang members. However, the remaining members restored gangs' websites from a backup, unknowingly restarting some internal systems already controlled by law enforcement.

Golden age

Cyberattacks are increasing in scale, sophistication, and scope. The last 12 months were ripe with major high-profile cyberattacks, such as the SolarWinds hack, attacks against the Colonial Pipeline, meat processing company JBS, and software firm Kaseya.

Pundits talk of a ransomware gold rush, with the number of attacks increasing over 90% in the first half of 2021 alone.

The prevalence of ransomware has forced governments to take multilateral action against the threat. It's likely a combined effort allowed to push the infamous REvil and BlackMatter cartels offline.

Gangs, however, either rebrand or form new groups. Most recently, LockBit 2.0 was the most active ransomware group with a whopping list of 203 victims in Q3 of 2021 alone.

An average data breach costs victims $4.24 million per incident, the highest in the 17 years. For example, the average cost stood at $3.86 million per incident last year, putting recent results at a 10% increase.

Reports show that people most vulnerable to cybercrime tend to be adults over 75 and younger adults. Criminals were taking advantage of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the flood of new users to digital channels, who were especially susceptible to attack.

More from CyberNews

Are you one of 10.5 million users victimised by this app-based SMS scam?

US offers $10 million reward for information on DarkSide leaders

Conti apologizes for leaking Saudi royalty data, pledges a westward focus

Dark web drug dealer to spend eight years behind bars

Cybersecurity headhunters: recruiting an experienced professional is a challenge

Subscribe to our newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are markedmarked