April 18, 2024

An affiliate of the LockBit ransomware gang has been sentenced to nearly 4 years in jail after earlier pleading responsible to fees of cyber extortion and weapons fees.

34-year-old Mikhail Vasiliev, who has twin Russian and Canadian nationality, was arrested in 2022 as a part of a multinational regulation enforcement investigation into LockBit that began in March 2020.

In accordance with media reports, Vasiliev admitted concentrating on organisations, encrypting their knowledge, and demanding over $100 million for the LockBit gang.

Canadian police raided Vasiliev’s house in Bradford, Ontario, in August 2022, discovering an inventory on his pc of previous and potential targets, together with particulars of a New Jersey agency hit by LockBit in late 2021.

Investigators additionally found on Vasiliev’s PC different proof of his closeness to the LockBit ransomware gang: malicious supply code, photographs of usernames and passwords, and screenshots of end-to-end encrypted conversations between Vasiliev and LockBit’s mysterious administrator, LockBitSupp, discussing the extortion of victims.

On a later search, in October 2022, officers mentioned they’d found Vasiliev say in his storage, taking a look at his pc. In accordance with investigators, they managed to cease Vasiliev from locking his PC and observed that it seemed to be related to a LockBit management panel.

At trial, Vasiliev’s lawyer argued that monetary difficulties in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic had pushed his shopper in direction of cybercrime. The choose, nevertheless, rejected the justification and described Vasiliev as a “cyber terrorist” who was motivated by greed.

Vasiliev has additionally been ordered to pay $860,000 in restitution to his Canadian victims along with his jail sentence. He additionally faces extradition to america to face additional fees associated to the LockBit ransomware assaults.

LockBit has tried to extort cash from many corporations in recent times. One notable goal was Accenture in August 2021. The gang allegedly stole six terabytes of data and demanded a $50 million ransom from the IT and consulting big. Different victims embrace the UK’s Merseyrail railway and German autoparts big Continental.

Final month, regulation enforcement businesses disrupted LockBit’s infrastructure and provided a $15 million reward for data on the cybercrime group’s leaders.

Regardless of LockBit’s makes an attempt to nonetheless depict itself as a serious participant on the earth of ransomware, it seems that coordinated motion by regulation enforcement is paying off and weakening the gang.


Editor’s Observe: The opinions expressed on this visitor writer article are solely these of the contributor and don’t essentially mirror these of Tripwire.