In August, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized more than $2 million worth of digital assets linked to ransomware attacks committed by the Russian resident – Aleksandr Sikerin. The criminal is known for his connection to the notorious cyber gang REvil that has assaulted numerous US businesses in the recent past.
REvil on The Spotlight Again
The news, reported by CNN, informed that the seized amount of cryptocurrencies is “traceable to ransomware attacks committed by Sikerin,” who, according to the US law enforcement officials, is part of the ransomware gang REvil. His last known address was in St. Petersburg, Russia, further indicating that he has connections to the organization.
The confiscation was part of an ongoing US effort to obstruct the funding sources for Russian and Eastern European cybercriminals following multiple recent attacks on American infrastructure. The White House continues to appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin to take measures against bad actors operating from the borders of Russia.
Last month, the Justice Department announced the seizure of over $6 million in ransom payments allegedly made to Yevgeniy Polyanin – a Russian resident tied to REvil. The criminal has conducted around 3,000 ransomware attacks, including some on municipalities around Texas.
Despite being exposed by the US authorities, Polyanin is still at large. His exact location is “believed to be in Russia” and, more specifically, the Siberian city of Barnaul.
While the Secret Service and the FBI track the actions of such criminals, the US Department of the Treasury started penalizing companies that assist in ransomware attacks. The first one that faced sanctions was the Czech Republic-based trading venue – Suex.
Wally Adeyemo – Deputy Treasury Secretary – alleged the exchange of facilitating operations involving “illicit proceed from at least eight ransomware variants.” He added that 40% of its transactions history is linked to illegal actors. Shortly after, Suex was banned from doing business with US entities.
REvil’s Major Hit
At the beginning of the summer, REvil attacked JBS USA, which with over $50 billion in annual sales, is the largest processor of meat in the world.
As it usually happens during similar hacks, the perpetrators locked sensible information belonging to JBS that crippled its production and requested an $11 million ransom to be paid in the form of BTC.
Somewhat surprisingly, the meat producer decided to pay the demand. Andre Nogueira – CEO at JBS – explained the payment was made as the organization feared it might become a victim again, further harming all customers relying on the company’s products.
Featured Image Courtesy of TheIndependent