The US Authorities seized $28M in crypto in a NetWalker Ransomware and one Canadian has even been extradited in the US in connection with the ransomware scheme so let’s read more about it in today’s latest cryptocurrency news.
The US authorities seized $28 million worth of crypto was seized in connection with the former Canadian government employee Sebastien Vachon Desjardins and got extradited to the US on charges related to the Netwalker ransomware. As per the DOJ, Vachon was charged with conspiracy to commit computer fraud and wire fraud, damage to a protected computer, and transmitting a demand in relation to damaging the protected computer arising from the alleged participation in Netwalker. The indictment cited by the DOJ alleged that the US intends to forfeit over $27 million of the $28 million seized that are traceable to proceeds of the offenses. Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr said:
“As exemplified by the seizure of cryptocurrency by our Canadian partners, we will use all legally available avenues to pursue seizure and forfeiture of the alleged proceeds of ransomware, whether located domestically or abroad. The department will not cease to pursue and seize cryptocurrency ransoms, thereby thwarting the attempts of ransomware actors to evade law enforcement through the use of virtual currency.”
Netwalker was a complex form of ransomware that targeted victims from law enforcement agencies and other commercial entities during the COVID pandemic. Netwalker hackers were identified by law enforcement as actors behind Argentina’s shutdown of international borders back in 2020 so the attackers requested $4 million worth of BTC at the time. In 2020, Netwalker hackers demanded $8 million worth of BTC for Pakistan’s biggest power producer to access the data following the cyber attack.
Examples like this and other ransomware attacks have been the center stage in the broader ransomware industry. Former FBI agent and Director of Threat Intelligence at Abnormal Security, Crane Hassold said that crypto had become the main factor driving today’s ransomware industry.
As recently reported, The University of Utah was the latest victim in a ransomware attack by the NetWalker hackers group and they ended up paying the hackers $500,000 because they wanted to prevent the data leak. The university paid the ransomware to avoid having its data leaker and it became the latest victim in the ransomware attacks that target higher education.
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