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Tuesday, January 18, 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 numerous members of the REvil hacking group on the request of the US authorities, the FSB mentioned on Friday. The transfer, which marks an uncommon diploma of cooperation between Russian and US businesses, comes amid more and more aggressive Russian navy exercise on the Ukrainian border and tense diplomacy as the USA 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 in opposition to 14 members of the group, together with greater than $600,000 value of cryptocurrency and 20 luxurious automobiles. The FSB advised Interfax that it was appearing on 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 mentioned.

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

US businesses have intensified their pursuit of REvil after the FBI linked it to the hack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline in Might 2021. REvil was additionally behind a cyberattack against meat supplier JBS, additionally in Might 2021, which shut down the corporate’s meat processing vegetation throughout the US.

One alleged member of REvil was arrested by Polish authorities in November 2021 after being indicted by the US. Based on reporting in Reuters, a supply near the case mentioned that the FSB wouldn’t hand over REvil group members with Russian citizenship to the USA after the most recent arrests.

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

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

Because the US continues to barter with Russia over its navy actions on the Ukraine border, the FSB’s actions might be an providing linked to the talks, mentioned Nina Jankowicz, a worldwide fellow on the Wilson Heart and specialist in Russian affairs.

“The FSB’s takedown of REvil could be Russia attempting to throw the US a bone after negotiations on the mounting tensions on Ukraine’s border this week,” Jankowicz mentioned. “Nevertheless it doesn’t imply a lot when the rubber hits the street — Russia nonetheless has over 100,000 troops on the border and this morning, Ukraine’s authorities skilled a large cyberattack.”

Although the Ukraine cyberattack has not but been attributed to Russia, Jankowicz mentioned, the mode of operation was just like assaults carried out upfront of battle in Georgia in 2008 and the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

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