Russia Busts Revil Ransomware Group on US Request, Arrests 14 Members – Bitcoin News

Russian law enforcement agencies dismantled Revil hacking, which is suspected to be responsible for ransomware and other attacks on the U.S. that involved cryptocurrency. The operation was requested by the United States despite the heightened geopolitical tensions that exist between Russia and the United States. Moscow may not hand over Russian citizens.

Russia’s FSB Hits Cybercrime Group Revil

Friday’s announcement by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, (FSB), that raids were conducted against Revil in the capital Moscow as well as Leningrad, St. Petersburg and Lipetsk, was made together with the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Police officers raided 25 homes and arrested 14 members of an organized crime group.

Funds worth over 426 million rubles ($5.6 million) including cryptocurrency, $600,000 and €500,000, as well as crypto wallets, computer equipment used to commit crimes, and 20 high-end vehicles purchased with money obtained from criminal activities were seized, the FSB detailed in a press release, emphasizing:

The FSB’s and MVD’s joint efforts resulted in the end of organized crime, neutralizing the criminal information infrastructure.

The FSB stated that some of the individuals arrested had developed malware and coordinated the theft funds from foreign banks accounts. Russian officials claim to have “established the full composition” of Revil and the involvement of its members in the “illegal circulation of means of payment and documented illegal activities.”

The US welcomes Russian actions against hackers

Russia’s main law enforcement agency also said that the operation has been conducted on request of the respective U.S. authorities who shared information about Revil’s presumed leader and his part in attacks on foreign high-tech companies through malicious software used to encrypt data and extort money for its decryption.

The Russian Interfax news agency reported that the Tverskoy Court of Moscow has held two Russians in custody until March 13 — Roman Muromsky, a 33-year-old entrepreneur and web developer with no previous convictions, and Andrei Bessonov, alleged Revil hacker. The two men were accused of committing crime under Article 2 of the Criminal Code. 187 — “Illegal circulation of means of payment” — of Russia’s Criminal Code. The court has been asked by the MVD to take similar actions against three other detainees.

High-profile ransomware incidents in crypto have been linked to Revil, which has also been responsible for the Colonial Pipeline attack that caused gas shortages across the American East Coast last year. Its perpetrators used ‘Darkside’ encryption software believed to have been developed by the group. Another case was the attack on the world’s biggest meat packing company, JBS, as Reuters reported in June.

FSB stated that Russia had informed U.S. authorities of the outcome in its announcement. The United States welcomed the arrests, with Reuters quoting a senior official as stating: “we understand that one of the individuals who was arrested today was responsible for attack against Colonial Pipeline last spring.” A source familiar with the investigation told Interfax that Russia is not going to extradite any Revil members with Russian citizenship to the U.S.

In this story, tags
Arrest, Colonial Pipeline

Are you expecting Russia and the U.S. cooperation in other cyberattacks that involve ransomware or cryptocurrency? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

Lubomir Tatsev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

Credits for the imageShutterstock. Pixabay. Wiki Commons

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