FBI seized roughly $2.3 million in cryptocurrency tied to ransomware attacks

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Aleksandr Sikerin, whose previous acknowledged handle was in St. Petersburg, Russia, is affiliated with a infamous ransomware gang recognised as REvil that has cost US organizations millions of bucks, the Justice Office alleged in a grievance submitted in the Northern District of Texas Dallas Division.

The cryptocurrency account, or “wallet,” that is now beneath the FBI’s manage is “traceable to ransomware assaults fully commited by Sikerin,” the criticism states.

The seizure is component of an ongoing US law enforcement work to stymie the sources of funding for Russian and Jap European cybercriminals adhering to a collection of harmful ransomware attacks on US infrastructure. It arrives as the White Property continues to attractiveness to Russian President Vladimir Putin to just take action against hackers functioning from Russian soil.

Bleeping Pc, a cybersecurity information outlet, first claimed the news. The Justice Department this thirty day period introduced the seizure of additional than $6 million in ransom payments allegedly built to one more alleged REvil operative, Russian countrywide Yevgeniy Polyanin. Polyanin allegedly performed about 3,000 ransomware assaults, together with some on law enforcement organizations and municipalities in the course of Texas.

But the seizures are just a portion of what REvil customers have pocketed from their personal computer intrusions. From April 2019 to July 2021, victims in the US and somewhere else paid extortionists much more than $200 million subsequent hacks committed with the REvil ransomware, according to the new complaint.

The regulation enforcement offensive towards REvil and other ransomware gangs has leaned seriously on personal firms. Cybersecurity company McAfee a lot more than two several years ago recognized some of the cryptocurrency accounts used by several people connected with REvil, and documented how the hackers break up their ill-gotten gains.

In spite of the crackdown, some alleged ransomware operators surface to be living comfortably in Russia, which does not have an extradition arrangement with the US. The FBI needed poster for Polyanin claims he is “believed to be in Russia” and “possibly” in the Siberian town of Barnaul. Though the FBI and Secret Support keep track of accused cybercriminals, the Treasury Department has taken intention at the companies the hackers use to launder ransom payments. The division in September sanctioned Suex, a cryptocurrency exchange that US officers accused of doing small business with hackers at the rear of eight forms of ransomware.