The Russian intelligence service, FSB, claims that all 14 members of the ransomware service operations unit REvil are under arrest at the behest of American authorities. The FSB says that the hacker group has been dismantled, and the US authorities have been informed.
Reuters reports that the Russian authorities say, “The organized criminal association has ceased to exist, and the information infrastructure used for criminal purposes was neutralized.”
“As a result of a complex of coordinated investigative and operational-search measures in 25 addresses at the locations of 14 members of an organized criminal community, funds were seized: over 426 million rubles, including in cryptocurrency, 600 thousand US dollars, 500 thousand euros, as well as computer equipment, crypto wallets used to commit crimes, 20 premium cars purchased with money obtained from crime.
The detained members of the organized criminal community were charged with committing crimes under Part 2 of Art. 187 “Illegal turnover of means of payments” of the Criminal Code of Russia.”
To get you up to speed, the US authorities reportedly sought the cooperation of the Russian officials after being hit by a string of ransomware attacks orchestrated by REvil. In April 2021, the group attempted to blackmail Apple for money. It had obtained schematics of future MacBook Pro models from Apple supplier Quanta Computer and was threatening to make the data public unless the supplier coughed up over $50 million as ransom. While the hacked schematics reportedly helped repair shops offer additional services, the attempt to extort money from Apple was unsuccessful.
In November, the US said it was offering up to $10 million as a reward for information that would lead to identifying or locating any key REvil members. In October 2021, the cybercrime outfit claimed that it had been hacked by the FBI. This subsequently led to one member getting arrested and $6 million seized.
Following the FSB’s announcement of the arrests, an unnamed source familiar with the matter told Reuters that the criminals who are citizens of Russia would not be handed over to the US authorities.[Via Reuters]