After the dismantling of the famous hacker group Revil, eight of its members were arrested in Russia. On Saturday, a Moscow court ordered them to remain in detention until mid-March. They face up to seven years in prison. Among other things, Revil was behind a stunning and serious ransomware attack on US software company Kaseya last year.
Russian investigators took action against the hacker group at the request of the United States. The FSB’s domestic intelligence service said it conducted searches at 25 locations in five Russian regions on Friday, targeting 14 suspects. According to the Federal Security Service, assets worth 4.8 million euros and 20 luxury cars were confiscated during the raids.
Among other things, Revil was behind a ransomware attack on US software company Kaseya last year. It is estimated that about 1,500 companies in at least 17 countries around the world were affected by the attack. The Miami-based company provides information technology services to approximately 40,000 business clients around the world. As a result of the attack, the Swedish supermarket chain Coop was forced to temporarily close most of its branches due to failed checkout systems.
Cyber security was one of the main topics at the summit between US President Joe Biden and Kremlin President Vladimir Putin last June. The two heads of state promised each other to increase cooperation to combat cybercrime. In July, Biden urged Putin to take action against ransomware groups in Russia. Otherwise, the United States will take “all necessary measures” to protect its citizens.
Ransomware is an injected program that blocks computers and other systems. The operators are then blackmailed so that the systems can be activated again. The term contains the English word for ransom (“ransom”). According to the US Treasury, $590 million (515 million euros) in ransoms were paid in the first half of 2021 following such cyber attacks in the US alone.
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