An announcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ) stated that it sanctioned and indicted a Russian citizen for allegedly using multiple ransomware variants to execute cyberattacks on critical U.S. infrastructure.
According to the DOJ news release, the agency accused Russian, Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev of conspiring to convey ransom demands and to impair and purposely destroy protected computers.
Targeted Spread Cyberattack
An indictment obtained in the District of New Jersey shows Matveev allegedly took part in schemes utilizing variants known as LockBit, Babuk, and Hive to transmit ransom demands and execute ransomware.
Reportedly, Matveev along with others attacks thousands of victims in the U.S. and across the world using ransomware, particularly targeting victims who work in law enforcement, government agencies, hospitals, and schools.
Furthermore, between June 2020 to May 2022, the group executed successive attacks on law enforcement agency and a nonprofit behavioral healthcare organizations in New Jersey, based on court documents.
However, they accumulate $400 million in their ransom campaigns, while total victim ransom payments could amount to as much as $200 million.
A Possible Long-term Imprisonment?
An April 2021 incident where ransomware was employed against the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), with the threat actors threatened to publicize stolen data to the public unless a ransom was paid.
Notably, The indictments come after the State Department previously declared a reward offer — under the Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program (TOCRP) — of up to $10 million for any substantial information leading to the arrest.
From Russia his home country, Matveev had allegedly attacked integral infrastructure around the world, setting marked targets upon targets, including state and private hospitals, government agencies, and top business tycoons, says Kenneth A. Polite Jr.
The attorney general says These international crimes demand a coordinated response. We will not relent in inflicting heavy consequences on the most blatant threat actors in the cybercrime ecosystem.
In essence, if convicted on all charges, Matveev is likely to face more than 20 years in prison stat.