Ransomware accused extradited to US

The ransomware disruption was felt keenly in Sweden, where hundreds of supermarkets had to close.
Camera IconThe ransomware disruption was felt keenly in Sweden, where hundreds of supermarkets had to close. Credit: AP

A Ukrainian man charged with conducting one of the most severe ransomware attacks against US targets has been extradited to the United States and made a court appearance.

According to an August 2021 indictment, Yaroslav Vasinskyi, 22, accessed the internal computer networks of several victim companies and deployed Sodinokibi/REvil ransomware to encrypt the data on their computers, the Justice Department says.

Vasinskyi was allegedly responsible for the July 2021 ransomware attack against Florida software provider Kaseya.

The Ukrainian national was accused in the indictment of breaking into Kaseya during the July 4 weekend last year, and simultaneously distributing with accomplices REvil ransomware to as many as 1500 Kaseya customers, encrypting their data and forcing some to shut down for days, the Justice Department says.

While most of the 1500 businesses paralysed as a result across the globe faced limited concerns, the disruption was felt keenly in places such as Sweden, where hundreds of supermarkets had to close because their cash registers were inoperative, or New Zealand, where schools and kindergartens were knocked offline.

Vasinskyi was charged in the indictment with breaking into the victim companies and installing encryption software, developed by the core REvil ransomware hacking group.

REvil directly handled the ransom negotiations and split the profits with affiliates such as Vasinskyi. This model allowed the notorious ransomware gang to extort numerous companies for cryptocurrency.

Vasinskyi was arrested in Poland in October and charged late last year along with a Russian by the Justice Department.

Vasinskyi was transported to Dallas by US law enforcement authorities where he arrived on March 3, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.

REvil was involved in an attack last year against top global meatpacker JBS SA.

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