Home World REvil group arrested by FSB in a surprise gesture to the US

REvil group arrested by FSB in a surprise gesture to the US

The Russian security service FSB has said it has dismantled hacker group REvil. Members of the group were arrested and assets were seized, including twenty cars and 426 million rubles (almost 5 million euros). The arrests were made at the request of the United States.

The hacker group is suspected of thousands of ransomware attacks, in which files of companies are ‘held hostage’, until large amounts of ransom are paid. In the US, a major pipeline, Apple and meat processor JBS were targeted by REvil, which stands for Ransomware Evil. Dutch companies have also been victims of REvil.

Last year, European police forces managed to track down and arrest at least five hackers. Since the shutdown of the US pipeline, the US has stepped up the fight against REvil: for example, a premium of almost 10 million euros was offered for information that leads to the picking up of leaders of REvil.

The FSB says it has mapped the leadership of REvil with the help of American intelligence. The US has been informed about the operation, the Russian Secret Service writes in a press release. According to an anonymous source, Reuters reports that the arrested hackers will not be handed over to the US.

The news of the Russian hacker group’s roll-up comes amid rising tensions between Russia and the US related to Russian troop building along the border with Ukraine and Russian demands on the US and NATO. Over the past week, several difficult talks between the West and Russia took place. The meetings turned out to be fruitless: concrete commitments that lead to de-escalation were not made.

The US suspects Russia of involvement in the international cyber attacks. The Kremlin has always denied that hacker groups like REvil are affiliated with the Russian government. Last summer, President Biden called on his counterpart Putin to do more against Russian hackers.

Today, several Ukrainian government websites are down due to a cyber attack. Ukraine is aware that Russia is behind the attack.

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