The US has charged a Russian hacker with extorting $400 million

The US has charged a Russian hacker with extorting 0 million

The US authorities indicted Russian Mikhail Matveev on suspicion of participating in three cybercriminal groups that demanded $400 million from victims, half of which they received.

It is reported Bloomberg.

The Russian Mikhail Matveev, who was indicted by the US Department of Justice, is known in the network as “Vazawaka”. The investigation established that he was an active member of three groups that demanded 400 million dollars from the victims, of which they received almost 200 million dollars in ransom.

Namely, cybercriminals hacked computer networks and installed malware that encrypts computers and renders them unusable. After that, they demanded a ransom in cryptocurrency and threatened to leak the stolen data in case of non-payment.

The investigation claims that Matveev was a member of the Lockbit, Babuk, and Hive gangs, which extorted money from people in such a scheme. U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Philip Sellinger, in the indictment, described these groups as one of the “most active and destructive cybercriminal threats in the world.”

Along with other gang members, Matveev attacked up to 2,800 victims in the United States and around the world, the indictment said.

Among the likely victims is the Metropolitan Police Department in the District of Columbia, which was attacked in 2021. Hackers published dozens of stolen personal files of employees. According to the US Department of Justice, churches and non-profit organizations were also targeted.

American journalist Brian Krebs reported in January last year that Matveev belongs to the Darkside extortion group, which claimed responsibility for a cyberattack on one of the largest pipeline operators in the United States Colonial Pipeline in May 2021.

According to US Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polit Jr., from his base in the Russian Federation, Matveev probably used several different ransomware programs to attack critical infrastructure facilities around the world, including hospitals and government institutions.

In addition to the charges brought forward, the US Ministry of Justice said, Matveev was also placed on the sanctions list “for his role in carrying out attacks using ransomware on law enforcement agencies, enterprises and objects of critical US infrastructure.”

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