Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

Russia’s Federal Safety Service stated that 14 individuals have been arrested and tens of millions in foreign money has been seized.

Money that has been seized from detained hackers.

Cash that has been seized from detained hackers. On the request of america, the FSB has detained a gaggle of hackers who despatched ransomware viruses. The FSB stated that over 426 million rubles, together with in cryptocurrency, $600,000 and 500,000 euros, in addition to computer systems had been seized in 25 residences of 14 members of the REvil hacking group. 

Picture: FSBTASS/Getty Photographs

Greater than a dozen members of the REvil ransomware group have been arrested courtesy of the Russian authorities. On Friday, the Federal Safety Service of the Russian Federation introduced a joint effort between it and the Ministry of Inner Affairs of Russia that led to the arrest of 14 individuals related to the notorious cybercrime group.

SEE: Ransomware: What IT professionals must know (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Some 25 residential addresses have been searched with not solely the 14 individuals arrested however a number of property seized, together with greater than 426 million rubles, €500,000, $600,000 in U.S. {dollars}, crypto wallets, laptop tools and 20 luxurious vehicles purchased with cash obtained from the group’s crimes.

The arrested people have been charged with committing crimes underneath Half 2 of Article 187 “Unlawful circulation of technique of fee” of the Legal Code of Russia.

The operation was carried out on the request of U.S. authorities, in keeping with the FSB, which added that the U.S. was knowledgeable of the end result. “The investigative measures have been based mostly on a request from the … United States,” the FSB stated, in keeping with Reuters. “The organized felony affiliation has ceased to exist, and the data infrastructure used for felony functions was neutralized.”

As ransomware assaults have grown extra frequent and extra harmful over the previous couple of years, REvil turned notorious as one of many main culprits. The group introduced undue consideration to itself final yr following its assault in opposition to enterprise IT agency Kaseya, an incident that affected greater than 1,000 organizations throughout the agency’s provide chain. One other assault in opposition to meat processing firm JBS Meals additional introduced REvil into the highlight.

The group was reportedly taken down final October by a multi-nation operation wherein legislation enforcement officers and cyber specialists hacked into REvil’s laptop community infrastructure, taking management of a few of its infrastructure. Since then, group members have been flying underneath the radar however clearly have been nonetheless at giant.

The Biden administration has been pressuring Russia to take ransomware and its perpetrators significantly, particularly amid allegations that teams like REvil have operated with not less than the tacit permission of the previous Soviet Union. Friday’s operation additionally got here within the midst of rigidity between the U.S. and the Kremlin over fears that Russia has been planning a brand new invasion of Ukraine.

Referring to the FSB’s remark that the operation was carried out on the request of the U.S. authorities, Chris Morgan, senior cyber menace intelligence analyst at Digital Shadows, stated that this will likely symbolize a backhanded message indicating that Russia can be utilized to cease ransomware exercise, however solely underneath sure circumstances.

SEE: Ransomware assault: Why a small enterprise paid the $150,000 ransom (TechRepublic)

“It is possible that the arrests in opposition to REvil members have been politically motivated, with Russia trying to make use of the occasion as leverage,” Morgan stated. “It may very well be debated that this will likely relate to sanctions in opposition to Russia just lately proposed within the U.S., or the growing scenario on Ukraine’s border. The truth that the FSB focused REvil, who haven’t been publicly energetic in conducting assaults since October 2021, can be vital. Chatter on Russian cybercriminal boards recognized this sentiment, suggesting that REvil have been ‘pawns in an enormous political sport,’ whereas one other person prompt that Russia made the arrests ‘on goal’ in order that america would ‘relax.'”

The FSB might need additionally raided REvil realizing that the group was a high-priority goal for the U.S. however that the arrests would have little impression on the present ransomware panorama, Morgan added. The operation might have even been staged as a warning to different ransomware gangs to be conscious of whom they aim lest they invite undue consideration to themselves.

The query now could be whether or not these arrests imply that REvil is really down for the rely.

“Concerning REvil, the crime group has seen just a few iterations and doubtless their fair proportion of inside attrition since inception,” stated Neal Dennis, menace intel specialist at Cyware. “They’ve weathered digital assaults and take-downs however all the time appeared to bounce again. Why? As a result of digital actions are nothing with out arrests of key members of the gang. That being stated, REvil isn’t the primary Russian cyber crew to be worn out by Russian authorities and will not be the final. Up to now, when a gaggle will get as giant and prolific as this on the worldwide stage, Russia finally steps in.”

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