In August, US law enforcement officers seized more than $ 2 million in crypto assets linked to ransomware attacks by Russian resident Aleksandr Sikerin. This criminal is known for his links to the notorious cyber gang REvil, which recently attacked numerous American companies.
REvil is again at the center of concerns
The news, reported by CNN, indicates that the seized cryptocurrencies are “linked to ransomware attacks by Sikerin” who, according to US law enforcement, is part of the REvil ransomware gang. His last known address was in St. Petersburg, Russia, further indicating that he has ties to that organization.
The seizure is part of an ongoing effort by US law enforcement to thwart funding sources for Russian and Eastern European cybercriminals following a series of damaging ransomware attacks on US infrastructure . The White House continues to call on Russian President Vladimir Putin to take action against hackers operating in Russian territory.
Last month, the Justice Department announced the seizure of more than $ 6 million in ransoms allegedly paid to Yevgeniy Polyanin, another suspected Russian national of REvil. The criminal carried out approximately 3,000 ransomware attacks, some of them against municipalities in Texas.
Despite being unmasked by US authorities, Polyanin is still at large. The FBI wanted notice states that he “is believed to be in Russia” and more specifically, in the Siberian town of Barnaul.
The penalization of companies involved in ransomware attacks
As the Secret Service and the FBI track down accused cybercriminals, the US Treasury Department has started penalizing companies involved in ransomware attacks. The first to be sanctioned was the Suex platform, a cryptocurrency exchange based in the Czech Republic.
Wally Adeyemo, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, accused the crypto exchange of facilitating transactions involving “the illicit proceeds of at least eight types of ransomware.” He added that 40% of his transaction history is linked to illegal actors. Shortly after, Suex was banned from doing business with American organizations.
The great success of REvil
Earlier this summer, REvil attacked JBS USA, which is the global food giant with annual sales of over $ 50 billion.
As usually happens in similar hacks, the perpetrators locked sensitive information belonging to JBS, crippling its production, and demanded a ransom of $ 11 million to be paid in the form of bitcoin.
Surprisingly enough, the meat producer decided to pay this ransom. Andre Nogueira, boss of the American subsidiary of the Brazilian group, explained that the payment was made because the organization feared that it would once again be a victim of the computer attack, which would harm all its customers who rely on them. company products.
It must be said that computer attacks have become more and more significant in recent years. There are many people who engage in this malicious activity and unfortunately they manage to claim many victims. Over time, hacking has become a major concern for authorities.