Ransomware REvil Operative Faces Justice: 13-Year Sentence, $16M In Fines

A 24-year-old Ukrainian member of the REvil ransomware gang has been sentenced to over 13 years in prison for his involvement in a 2021 global ransomware attack that targeted businesses worldwide.

Role in Extensive Ransomware Attacks

Yaroslav Vasinskyi, a 24-year-old Ukrainian national associated with the notorious ransomware gang REvil, has been sentenced to 13 years and seven months in prison and ordered to pay $16 million in restitution for his role in a 2021 ransomware attack that wreaked havoc across the United States and abroad.

Vasinskyi, also known as Rabotnik, was found to have played a significant role in over 2,500 ransomware attacks worldwide, with demands totaling a staggering $700 million in ransom payments. These attacks caused severe financial and operational disruptions to hundreds of businesses.

Government Crackdown on Ransomware Groups

This sentencing is part of a broader crackdown on ransomware groups, following a promise made by U.S. President Joe Biden in November 2021. Biden’s pledge came after REvil demanded $70 million in bitcoin (BTC) following their hacking and deployment of ransomware on Miami-based software provider Kaseya.

In March 2022, Russian authorities, responding to requests from the U.S., raided and dismantled REvil. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland emphasized the importance of international cooperation, stating, 

“The Justice Department is working with our international partners and using all tools at our disposal to identify cybercriminals, capture their illicit profits, and hold them accountable for their crimes.”

Sanctions and Disruptions

The Kaseya attack, which targeted a major Swedish supermarket chain, reverberated worldwide, disrupting businesses in at least 17 countries, ranging from pharmacies to gas stations to kindergartens.

The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Vasinskyi, Polyanin, and a cryptocurrency exchange accused of facilitating ransomware money transfers in 2021. 

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco stressed the severity of Vasinskyi’s actions, stating, 

“Deploying the REvil ransomware variant, the defendant reached out across the globe to demand hundreds of millions of dollars from U.S. victims.…[The DOJ is committed to] bringing to justice those who target U.S. victims, and we are disrupting the broader cybercrime ecosystem.”

Legal Proceedings and Confiscations

Vasinskyi was arrested in Poland two years ago and later extradited to the United States. He pleaded guilty to an 11-count indictment, including charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, damage to protected computers, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

In 2021, Vasinskyi was charged alongside another alleged REvil operative, Russian national Yevgeniy Polyanin. Authorities seized approximately $6 million in funds allegedly linked to ransom payments received by Polyanin during their investigation.

In 2023, the DoJ confiscated nearly 40 BTCs, valued at approximately $2.3 million, and $6.1 million in funds traceable to ransom payments received by other conspirators. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. 

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