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The US blames Ukrainian and Russian citizens for ransomware attacks


U.S. officials have been charged in Ukraine and Russia for their high-profile crimes ransomware attacks, as part of a global campaign against cybercrime.

The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday said it had blamed Ukraine’s 22-year-old Yaroslav Vasinskyi for his involvement in one of the world’s biggest threats. Kaseya hack, among others. The US said it wanted to release Vasinskyi, who was arrested in Poland after crossing the border from Ukraine, said Merrick Garland, a senior lawyer.

The hacking in July affected Kaseya’s technical service provider and nearly 1,500 clients and customer service staff. The attack forced Sweden Coop’s supermarket to close almost all of its 800 stores.

The United States has also accused 28-year-old Russian citizen Yevgeniy Polyanin of plotting to overthrow US $ 3,000m and state-owned enterprises, Garland said. The US has received $ 6.1m in ransom for its actions, he added, and believes he is out.

U.S. officials say the men were members of the Sodinokibi / REvil, a Russian-linked terrorist group, which the US Treasury government said had received more than $ 200m in compensation in cryptocurrency from victims.

The move – which also involved government officials in Poland, Romania, Ukraine, France, Estonia, Latvia and Germany – marks a major and concerted effort by the US to curb the recent spread of recent threats, as fraudsters seize the company. data and demand for ransom.

Separately on Monday, Europol announced security in Romania had built stolen two ransomware affiliated with the Sodinokibi / REvil ransomware cartel.

Many Western security experts have said that the administration of President Joe Biden should be very strong in Moscow in particular, since most of the ransomware terrorists are known to live in Russia or Russian-speaking countries, where they operate without penalty.

Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin at a June summit that 16 construction sectors, including energy, heat and water, should be “banned” by cyber or other means, and urged responsible countries to take action against terrorists. . ransomware works in their area. However, such groups seem to be increasingly under attack.

Asked if Russia has approved or is aware of the practice, Garland said: “We look forward to and hope that any government in which one of the redemptive actors is doing its utmost to provide us with this person will delay us.”

The U.S. Department of State has announced a $ 10m prize for any information that will be identified or a place for anyone with leadership in the Sodinokibi / REvil group, and $ 5m for any additional information that could help arrest or detain any affected person. and the Sodinokibi / REvil ransomware incident.

U.S. officials are also increasingly interested in the crypto industry, which is concerned about the anonymity of digital assets that could be used to steal money.

The Treasury Department on Monday handed down sanctions to Chatex, an exchange that it said “supported the sale of several types of ransomware”, along with three groups that allegedly provided “assistance and assistance to Chatex”.

According to Treasury, more than half of Chatex cases have been directly linked to “illegal or dangerous activities” such as paying in secret online marketplace fraud, and allowing ransomware groups to squander their fraudulent money. It also alleged that Chatex used the services offered by Suez, a currency exchange that existed are also allowed and the US in September for similar reasons.

Additional reports of Katrina Manson in Washington


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