Home LATEST NEWS Moscow dismantles hacker group at Washington’s request

Moscow dismantles hacker group at Washington’s request

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Russian and American Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden had indicated at a summit in June that they wanted to strengthen their cooperation in the fight against cybercrime, against a backdrop of crises and repeated accusations against Moscow in this area.

Following an operation by the security services (FSB) and the Russian police, the existence of this organized criminal group was terminated, according to the FSB.

Searches carried out at the request of the competent American authorities targeted 14 people and 25 addresses in five Russian regions, including the capital Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the country’s second largest city, leading to the seizure of the equivalent of 426 million rubles (7 million Canadian dollars) and 20 luxury cars, according to the statement.

The FSB does not specify how many people were arrested, but released videos of tough arrests.

The group members developed harmful software, organized the embezzlement of funds from the bank accounts of foreign citizens and collected them, according to the same source.

Attack on American interests

In early July 2021, this group of Russian-speaking hackers, also called Sodinokibi, claimed responsibility for the ransomware attack targeting the American computer company Kaseya.

Joe Biden then asked Vladimir Putin, during a telephone exchange, to act against the attacks carried out from Russia, under penalty of seeing the United States take the necessary measures.

In early November, European and American authorities announced the arrest of seven hackers in an international operation that targeted REvil and the ransomware group GandCrab.

Ransomware is an increasingly lucrative form of digital hostage-taking in which hackers encrypt victims’ data and then demand money to set things right.

According to the US Treasury, $590 million in ransoms were paid in the United States alone in the first half of 2021, compared to $416 in 2020.

Last May, the Colonial Pipeline Network, the main source of gasoline supply for much of the Eastern United States, was temporarily shut down after a ransomware attack. The group had paid $4.4 million to regain control of its facilities.

The same month, the global meat giant JBS was targeted, notably paralyzing the group’s activities in Australia.

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