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This Hacker Sentenced to 13 Years and Fined $16 Million for Global Ransomware Rampage



This Hacker Sentenced to 14 Years and Fined $16 Million for Global Ransomware Rampage

In a landmark case underscoring the relentless pursuit of cybercriminals across the globe, 24-year-old Ukrainian national Yaroslav Vasinskyi has been sentenced to more than 13 years in prison for his involvement in the widespread REvil ransomware attacks. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Vasinskyi was also ordered to pay over $16 million in restitution for damages caused by the ransomware, which has affected thousands of victims and demanded ransoms totaling more than $700 million.

REvil, also known by its alternative name Sodinokibi, is a Russian-speaking ransomware gang notorious for its high-profile attacks, including those targeting celebrities like Lady Gaga and former U.S. President Donald Trump. Operating with a global reach, Vasinskyi, also known by his alias ‘Rabotnik’, collaborated with other gang members to infiltrate and encrypt over 2,000 computer systems worldwide, threatening to release sensitive data unless their hefty ransom demands were met.

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One of Vasinskyi’s major operations was the 2021 attack on Kaseya, a Florida-based software provider. The breach not only compromised Kaseya’s infrastructure but also impacted thousands of companies globally that utilized Kaseya’s platforms through managed service providers for IT management solutions. This attack prompted immediate international responses, including a crisis meeting of the White House National Security Council and subsequent discussions between U.S. and Russian leaders, which eventually led to the dismantling of REvil’s operations.

Vasinskyi’s arrest came in 2021 as he was detained by Polish authorities while crossing from Ukraine into Poland. He was extradited to the United States in 2022 where he faced charges including fraud, causing damage to protected computers, and money laundering, to which he later pleaded guilty.

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Further cementing the legal consequences for Vasinskyi and his associates, the Justice Department in 2023 managed to secure the forfeiture of significant assets linked to the ransom payments, including almost 40 bitcoin and $6.1 million in cash, traceable to Vasinskyi and Yevgeniy Polyanin, another REvil associate. Both individuals were previously sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury in 2021, emphasizing the severity of their cybercrimes.

Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, highlighted the sentencing as a stark warning to similar offenders: “Vasinskyi’s sentence should serve as a reminder to ransomware actors everywhere: we will track you down and bring you to justice.” FBI Director Christopher Wray praised the international cooperation that led to Vasinskyi’s sentencing, reinforcing the FBI’s commitment to “relentlessly pursue cybercriminals like Vasinskyi wherever they may hide,” and to disrupt and dismantle the networks that support such criminal activities.

This case marks a significant victory in the ongoing battle against global cybercrime, showcasing the determination of law enforcement agencies worldwide to hold cyber offenders accountable, regardless of their location or the scale of their operations.


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