Russian authorities have taken down a ransomware gang at the request of US authorities. According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), it took action and removed the REvil ransomware group. Reports in Russia claim the security agency raided and shutdown 25 locations across Moscow, St. Petersburg, Leningrad, and Lipetsk.
During the takedowns, more than $5.6 million was claimed, including cryptocurrency, dollars, 20 luxury vehicles, and euros.
FSB arrested and charged 14 cybercriminals involved in the illegal operation and charged them with “illegal circulation of means of payment”. Furthermore, the service was able to take down the gang’s wider digital infrastructure.
Russian authorities took action due to a formal request from US investigators who were “reporting about the leader of the criminal community and his involvement in encroachments on the information resources of foreign high-tech companies by introducing malicious software, encrypting information and extorting money for its decryption.”
The FSB goes on to add that by collaborating with the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Russia, the operations of REvil were shut down entirely.
“The information infrastructure used for criminal purposes was neutralized. Representatives of the competent U.S. authorities have been informed about the results of the operation.”
REvil has been a major player in the ransomware realm for some time and has targeted big name brands and claimed million of dollars. However, the group has been losing power compared to emerging operators in ransomware. In other words, it is unlikely the takedown will do much to stop the growth of ransom attacks.
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