Sunday, January 23, 2022

Russia’s FSB says it has taken down REvil hacker group at US request

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Russia’s home safety service, the FSB, has arrested quite a few members of the REvil hacking group at the request of the US authorities, the FSB stated on Friday. The transfer, which marks an uncommon diploma of cooperation between Russian and US companies, comes amid more and more aggressive Russian navy exercise on the Ukrainian border and tense diplomacy because the United States makes an attempt to forestall armed battle.

Reporting by the Russian Interfax information company claimed that the FSB seized 426 million rubles ($5.6 million) in a raid towards 14 members of the group, together with greater than $600,000 price of cryptocurrency and 20 luxurious vehicles. The FSB instructed Interfax that it was appearing at the request of US authorities and had knowledgeable them of the outcomes of the operation. The operation successfully dismantled REvil as an entity, the FSB stated.

The Biden administration has lengthy referred to as on Russia to do extra to crack down on ransomware gangs working inside the nation, although with restricted success till now. Analysts have tied Russian teams to in depth ransomware operations in Europe and the US, typically with out interference from native regulation enforcement. With no extradition treaty in place, the Russian authorities has been accused of sheltering cybercriminals offered they don’t assault home targets.

US companies have intensified their pursuit of REvil after the FBI linked it to the hack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline in May 2021. REvil was additionally behind a cyberattack towards meat provider JBS, additionally in May 2021, which shut down the corporate’s meat processing crops throughout the US.

One alleged member of REvil was arrested by Polish authorities in November 2021 after being indicted by the US. According to reporting in Reuters, a supply near the case stated that the FSB wouldn’t hand over REvil group members with Russian citizenship to the United States after the newest arrests.

The US Department of Justice had not responded to a request for remark by time of publication.

The information of the operation towards REvil comes on the identical day that the federal government of Ukraine suffered a main cyber assault. Many authorities web sites had been disabled Friday morning, with spokespeople for each the Ukrainian authorities and the EU pointing the finger towards Russia.

As the US continues to barter with Russia over its navy actions on the Ukraine border, the FSB’s actions may very well be an providing linked to the talks, stated Nina Jankowicz, a worldwide fellow at the Wilson Center and specialist in Russian affairs.

“The FSB’s takedown of REvil might be Russia trying to throw the US a bone after negotiations on the mounting tensions on Ukraine’s border this week,” Jankowicz stated. “But it doesn’t mean much when the rubber hits the road — Russia still has over 100,000 troops on the border and this morning, Ukraine’s government experienced a massive cyberattack.”

Though the Ukraine cyberattack has not but been attributed to Russia, Jankowicz stated, the mode of operation was much like assaults carried out prematurely of battle in Georgia in 2008 and the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

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