Europol exposes Ukrainian ransomware gang

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Various national security agencies, coordinated by Europol and Interpol, have arrested two suspected ransomware operators in Ukraine. As Europol announced on Monday, the two men were arrested on September 28th. They are accused of stealing data with appropriate malware and extorting ransom for them in the range of between 5 million euros and 70 million euros.

The two suspects are said to have carried out a series of targeted attacks on “very large industrial groups” in Europe and North America from April 2020, stealing sensitive data in order to encrypt it. Which company it is exactly leaves the communication from Europol open minded. In the case of the extortion, the potential perpetrators are said to have demanded several million euros for the decryption of the data. In the event of non-payment, the stolen data should otherwise be published on the Darknet. One of the two suspects, a 25-year-old man is said to have been part of a larger ransomware operation, according to initial findings, is what The Record says.

With the formation of a Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) from Europol, national security authorities such as the French Gendamerie Nationale, the Ukrainian National Police and the US FBI, together with specialists from the European Cybercrime Center (EC3) and an Interpol officer, identified the potential perpetrators investigate and arrest.

A video from the National Police of Ukraine shows the officers’ conduct during the search.

As Europol announced, in addition to the two arrests, seven searches of real estate were carried out and 375,000 US dollars in cash and two “luxury vehicles” worth 217,000 euros were seized. In addition, cryptocurrencies in the amount of 1.3 million US dollars were frozen. One of the two suspects, a 25-year-old man, was also said to have been part of a larger ransomware operation, is what The Record says.

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