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Ukrainian Yaroslav Vasinskyi sentenced for extorting $700m in REvil ransomware attacks | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware



By Reuters and Nic White For Dailymail.Com

06:22 02 May 2024, updated 06:22 02 May 2024

  • Yaroslav Vasinskyi, 24, helped carry out more than 2,500 ransomware attacks
  • Stole and encrypted data from victims and demanded cash for its safe return
  • Threatened to release data publicly if they refused to pay the ransom 



A Ukrainian man has been sentenced to 13 years and seven months in prison for his role in conducting more than 2,500 ransomware attacks.

Yaroslav Vasinskyi, 24, demanded more than $700 million in ransom payments for data he stole from his victims, or he would publicly release it.

He was also ordered to pay over $16 million in restitution, the US Department of Justice said.

Vasinskyi conducted the ransomware attacks using the Sodinokibi/REvil ransomware variant, and publicly exposed victims’ data when they would not pay up.

Vasinskyi was arrested after crossing the Poland border and US officials are now working to have him extradited

‘Today, the FBI’s close collaboration with our worldwide partners has again ensured that a cybercriminal who thought he was beyond our reach faces the consequences of his actions,’ FBI Director Christopher Wray said.

Vasinskyi was allegedly responsible for the July 2021 ransomware attack against Florida software provider Kaseya, the department said previously.

The Ukrainian national was accused in the indictment of breaking into Kaseya, and simultaneously distributing with accomplices REvil ransomware to as many as 1,500 Kaseya customers.

Their data was encrypted and some of the customers were forced to shut down for days, the Justice Department said.

‘Using ransomware, malicious actors from around the globe can paralyze U.S. companies in a matter of minutes,’ said Leigha Simonton, the US attorney for the Northern District of Texas, where Vasinskyi was tried.

‘Today, the FBI’s close collaboration with our worldwide partners has again ensured that a cybercriminal who thought he was beyond our reach faces the consequences of his actions,’ FBI Director Christopher Wray said

Vasinskyi, who was extradited to the United States from Poland, previously pleaded guilty to an 11-count indictment.

He was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with computers, damage to protected computers, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said he hacked into thousands of computers around the world.

‘Although the conspirators attempted to cover their tracks by laundering the payments from victims, Vasinskyi could not hide from law enforcement,’ she said.

Vasinskyi was allegedly responsible for the July 2021 ransomware attack against Florida software provider Kaseya, the department said previously

‘Vasinskyi’s sentence today should serve as a reminder to ransomware actors everywhere: we will track you down and bring you to justice.’

Ransomware is malicious software designed to encrypt data on victim computers, allowing bad actors the ability to demand a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key.

The co-conspirators demanded ransom payments in cryptocurrency and used cryptocurrency exchangers and mixing services to hide their ill-gotten gains. 

To drive their ransom demands higher, Sodinokibi/REvil co-conspirators also publicly exposed their victims’ data when victims would not pay ransom demands.

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