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NJ Schools, Law Enforcement Targeted In $200M Ransomware Attack: Feds | #ransomware | #cybercrime

Authorities have accused a Russian national of attacking law enforcement and government agencies, hospitals, and schools throughout the U.S.

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WASHINGTON, DC — A Russian man is facing multiple charges in the United States after federal authorities said he targeted a New Jersey law enforcement agency and schools in a $200 million ransomware scam.

The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday unsealed two indictments against Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev, a Russian national who authorities said used three different forms of ransomware —LockBit, Babuk and Hive — to attack law enforcement and other government agencies, hospitals, and schools throughout the United States.


According to authorities, Matveev demanded as much as $400 million in ransoms from his victim and collected $200 million in payments.

According to a Justice Department news release, Matveev deployed LockBit ransomware against a law enforcement agency in Passaic County on or around June 25, 2020. In May 2022, authorities said Matveev deployed Hive against a nonprofit healthcare organization in Mercer County.

Matveev also targeted several school systems across the state, according to an ABC 7 report.

Matveev is also accused of launching a ransomware attack against the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., authorities said.

According to the Justice Department, the LockBit, Babuk, and Hive ransomware variants operate similarly. Suspects identify vulnerable computer systems before deploying ransomware within the system, allowing them to encrypt or steal data. Suspects then send ransom notes to the victims, demanding payment for decrypting or not publicly sharing the data.

The LockBit ransomware variant first appeared in 2020, authorities said, and has been used in more than 1,400 attacks against victims worldwide, resulting in more than $75 million in ransom payments. Since June 2021, Hive ransomware has targeted more than 1,400 victims worldwide and received as much as $120 million in ransom payments, according to the Department of Justice.

Matveev is charged with conspiring to transmit ransom demands, conspiring to damage protected computers, and intentionally damaging protected computers, authorities said. If convicted, he faces more than 20 years in prison.

Authorities are also offering a $10 million reward for information leading to Matveev’s arrest and conviction. Information can be submitted at tips.fbi.gov or RewardsForJustice.net.

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