Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) seized Bitcoin worth $2.2 Million tied to ransomware payment. It is believed that the currency belonged to Revil/Sodinokibi, an affiliate of Gandcrab.
US Seizes Bitcoin Worth Over $2 Million
A court document released Tuesday shows that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has seize almost 40 bitcoins belonging to a Russian citizen who was linked to Revil or Gandcrab ransomware. According to the forfeiture complaint:
The United States of America files this verified complaint in rem against 39.89138522 bitcoin seized from Exodus wallet … that is now located and in the custody and management of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Dallas Division.
According to data from Bitcoin.com Markets at the time of this writing, the bitcoin price was around $56,318.06. It is estimated that the amount taken was almost $2.247 Million.
On Aug. 3, the wallet was seized. While the FBI did not reveal how it gained access to the wallet, the court document explains that the wallet contained Revil ransom payments belonging to an affiliate identified as Aleksandr Sikerin (aka Alexander Sikerin and Oleksandr Sikerin), whose email address is email@example.com.
According to Bleeping Computer, the name “engfog” in the email address is tied to a well-known Gandcrab and Revil/Sodinokibi affiliate known as “Lalartu.”
Gandcrab and Revil organizations operated as Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS), where core operators partner with third-party hackers, known as affiliates, the news outlet noted, adding that ransom payments are split between the affiliate and core operators. The ransom paid to the operators is typically between 20% and 30%.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had seized $6.1 million from Yevgeniy Polyanin, a Russian “charged with deploying Sodinokibi/Revil ransomware to attack businesses and government entities in the United States.”
The U.S. government is increasing efforts to combat ransomware attacks. Two cryptocurrency exchanges that are tied to ransom payments have been sanctioned by the Treasury Department.
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