Two ‘prolific’ ransomware operators arrested in Ukraine, Europol announces

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According to Europol, the FBI and law enforcement agencies in France and Ukraine coordinated the raids, which led to the seizure of $375,000 in cash and two luxury vehicles, and the freezing of $1.3 million in cryptocurrency.

The arrest is a notable victory for US law enforcement, which has tried to increase its pressure on cybercriminals based in Eastern Europe and Russia after a series of attacks. ransomware attack Which cost American companies millions of dollars.
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Europol described the two suspects as “prolific”, who demanded between €5 and €70 million ($5.8 million and $81.3 million) from the victims. But a spokesman for the EU’s law enforcement arm declined to identify the two people or what type of ransomware was allegedly used, citing legal reasons and an ongoing investigation.

“The organized crime group is suspected of carrying out targeted attacks against very large industrial groups in Europe and North America since April 2020,” said Europol spokeswoman Claire Georges.

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According to a Europol statement, four FBI personnel were in Ukraine to help coordinate the raid. The FBI did not respond to a request for comment.

Mark Arena, CEO of cybersecurity firm Intel 471, said he believed the two men arrested were “colleagues” rather than “core operators” of a well-known ransomware service.

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“Many actors have used or have had multiple ransomware services, so we caution against associating this action with any one specific ransomware service,” Arena told Granthshala.

John Fokker, a former cybercrime investigator with Dutch police, said it often takes years for law enforcement agencies to “build up a solid case” against ransomware gangs that publicly boast about their victims but operate in the shadows. Huh. In this case, Europol said that investigators held a dozen meetings to prepare for the raid.

“Ukraine has proven ready and committed to arresting ransomware criminals within its borders – something that has been a major challenge with Russia,” Fokker, who now heads cyber investigations at McAfee Enterprise, told Granthshala. .

In June, President Joe Biden urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to crack down on cybercriminals operating from Russian soil, but US officials have been skeptical of Moscow’s willingness to do so.

the White House Plans for the end of this month As Granthshala first reported, 30 countries to convene a meeting to intensify global efforts to combat the ransomware threat.

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Credit : www.cnn.com

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