Russia’s domestic intelligence service, the FSB, said on Friday that Russia had carried out a special operation against the REvil ransomware criminal group, at the request of the United States, and officially arrested and charged members of the group.
The arrests were a rare display of apparent cooperation between Russia and the United States at the time High tensions between the two countries over matters relating to Ukraine.
The announcement came as Ukrainians were responding to a massive cyber attack that shut down government websites, although there was no indication that these incidents were related.
The security service said a joint operation of the police and the FSB searched 25 addresses and detained 14 people, the confiscated assets said – they include 426 million rubles (30.9 million Brazilian reais) and 600,000 dollars (600,000 Brazilian reals). 500,000 euros (3.1 million Brazilian reals), IT equipment and 20 luxury cars.
The Federal Security Service said on its website that Russia had directly informed the United States of the measures it had taken against the group requested by the Americans. The US Embassy in Moscow said it could not immediately comment on the matter.
The Federal Security Service said that “the investigation procedures were based on a request from the United States.” “The organized crime gang has ceased to exist, and the information infrastructure used for criminal purposes has been neutralized.”
REN TV broadcast footage of agents breaking into homes, arresting people, smashing them to the ground and confiscating large piles of dollars and rubles. The group members have been formally charged and face up to seven years in prison.
A source familiar with the case told Interfax that members of the group who hold Russian citizenship will not be handed over to US authorities.
The United States has been hit by a series of cyberattacks aimed at extorting money from companies by stealing sensitive data and demanding financial rewards for returning information.
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters in June that Revell was suspected of being the group behind the plane Ransomware attack on the world’s largest meat company, JBS.
In the past, the United States has repeatedly accused the Russian state of criminal activity on the Internet, which Russia denies.
Copyright © Thomson Reuters.
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