The US government has indicted a Ukrainian national and a Russian national that are believed to be part of the REvil cybercriminal group which is responsible for a series of major ransomware attacks.
According to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, 22-year-old Ukranian Yaroslav Vasinkyi was arrested when trying to enter Poland while 28-year-old Yevgeniy Polyanin is believed to be abroad though the US government was able to seize 6.1m from him.
These indictments are part of the US government's attempt to crack down on cybercriminals worldwide following a string of cyberattacks on the Colonial Pipeline and other critical infrastructure.
Shortly after the US Justice Department revealed that it had indicted Vasinkyi and Polyanin, President Biden released a statement explaining that these actions were part of the US government's plan to hold cybercriminals accountable, saying:
"When I met with President Putin in June, I made clear that the United States would take action to hold cybercriminals accountable. That's what we have done today. We have taken important steps to harden our critical infrastructure against cyberattacks, hold accountable those that threaten our security, and work together with our allies and partners around the world to disrupt ransomware networks."
Vasinskyi is allegedly responsible for the ransomware attack against the IT management company Kaseya that took place back in July according to the Justice Department. The attack not only affected Kaseya but also organizations around the world which use its software who also had their systems encrypted.
While Vasinkyi and Poyanin are both believed to be part of the REvil ransomware group, they are being charged in separate indictments with conspiracy to commit fraud, damage to protected computers and conspiracy to commit money laundering. If convicted of all counts, the pair of hackers could face a maximum penalty of more than 100 years in prison.
The US State Department also announced a $10m reward for information leading to the identification or location of “any individual holding a key leadership position” in the REvil ransomware group also known as Sodinokibi. At the same time, it's offering a $5m reward for information “leading to the arrest and/or conviction in any country of any individual conspiring to participate in or attempting to participate in a Sodinokibi variant ransomware incident”.
Now that two alleged members of the REvil ransomware group have been indicted, we'll likely see other cybercriminals brought to justice as well as preventing ransomware attacks has become a top priority for the US government and other governments around the world.
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