US Indicts Russian for Multi-Million Dollar Ransomware Attacks

  • The targeted infrastructure included law agencies and healthcare organizations.
  • The attacks involved encryption of victim data, and ransom demands with $200M paid.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has unsealed two indictments charging a Russian national, Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev, with carrying out ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure in the United States and worldwide.

Matveev allegedly used three different ransomware variants—LockBit, Babuk, and Hive—to target victims in various sectors, including law enforcement agencies, healthcare organizations, and government agencies.

The charges reveal that Matveev and his co-conspirators, operating from Russia, launched a series of attacks against the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., and a law enforcement agency in New Jersey.

The attacks involved encrypting victim data and demanding ransom payments to decrypt the information. Failure to comply with the demands often resulted in the public exposure of victims’ data on data leak sites.

The report from the U.S. Justice Department noted that the global impact of these ransomware campaigns is extensive, with as many as $400 million in ransom demands made and approximately $200 million in victim ransom payments received.

Furthermore, the indictment outlines the modus operandi of the ransomware groups, involving the identification and unlawful access of vulnerable computer systems, deployment of the ransomware, and subsequent ransom negotiations.

Matveev is now facing charges of conspiring to transmit ransom demands, conspiring to damage protected computers, and intentionally damaging protected computers. If convicted, he could face over 20 years in prison.

Notably, the U.S. Department of State is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Matveev.

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