Connect with us


Russia arrests 14 alleged members of REvil ransomware gang



Russia’s domestic intelligence service announced a special operation campaign against the notorious criminal ransomware group, REvil, Friday. According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), Russian authorities raided 25 addresses, resulting in the arrest of 14 individuals and seizure of more than $1 million worth of assets: 426 million rubles, $600,000, 500,000 euros, computer equipment, crypto wallets and 20 luxury cars.

FSB detains hackers spreading ransomware viruses
Russia, Jan.14, 2022: FSB officer checks laptop of a detained hacker. At request of the U.S., FSB  detains a group of hackers who sent ransomware viruses. 

Video screen grab/FSB/TASS

The Russia-based REvil gang has waged a spate of high-profile attacks on major U.S. and international companies, including the July 4 attack on software company Kaseya and a May ransomware attack on JBS USA, the world’s largest meat processing company.

Earlier this year, REvil reportedly demanded $50 million from Apple ahead of its product launch after hacking one of its suppliers, Quanta Computer. Associates of the criminal ransomware group have been linked to the May shut down of Colonial Pipeline, the nation’s largest oil producer.

The FSB’s announcement came as Ukraine scrambled to respond to a cyber attack shutting down its public-facing government websites, including the homepage for the Foreign Ministry, which temporarily displayed a message warning Ukrainians to “be afraid and expect the worst.” Ukraine’s security service said, Friday, “there are some signs of involvement [by] hacker groups associated with the Russian secret services.” 

The FSB claimed those arrested Friday, had “developed malicious software and organized the theft of funds from the bank accounts of foreign citizens and cashed them out, including by purchasing expensive goods on the Internet.”

“As a result of the joint actions of the FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, the organized criminal group ceased to exist,” the statement boasted.

The White House acknowledged, Friday, that one of the hackers arrested had been involved in the Colonial Pipeline incident. 

“We understand that one of the individuals who was arrested today was responsible for the attack against Colonial Pipeline last spring,” a senior administration official briefed reporters, Friday. “We’re committed to seeing those conducting ransomware attacks against Americans brought to justice.”

The FSB also handed out footage depicting agents raiding homes, tackling suspects to the floor, handcuffing individuals with blurred-out faces and sorting through stacks of Russian rubles.

Suspected REvil hacker Roman Muromsky, 33, has been detained following the raids, though it’s unclear if the former leader of cybercriminal gang EvilCorp appears in the handout video.

Moscow’s Tverskoi District Court has placed the Muromsky, a Russian national suspected of illegal trafficking of means of payment, in custody for two months.

“The court has granted the motion from the investigation to select two-month custody until March 13 as a measure of restraint for Roman Gennadyevich Muromsky,” court spokesperson Kseniya Rozina said Friday. The court has also jailed Andrei Bessonov, Russian news agencies reported, Friday.

But Russia won’t extradite to the U.S. those members of the REvil hacker group who have Russian citizenship, a knowledgeable source told Interfax Friday. 

“The law of the Russian Federation prohibits extradition of Russian citizens to a foreign state,” the source said, without specifying whether all the detained hackers were Russian nationals.

In their statement, the FSB said Friday’s investigation came at “the request of competent US authorities,” who were later “informed about the results of the operation.”

The U.S.-Russia collaboration marks a bright spot in an otherwise tense moment for the two countries, following a week of failed diplomatic efforts to curb Russia’s military buildup bordering on Ukraine. As Ukraine’s communication intelligence service responds to the cyberattacks targeting as many as 70 of its websites, U.S. and Ukrainian officials tell CBS News that the Kremlin is actively preparing the battlefield by using information warfare. 

“These arrests are another example of the significant actions taken by the United States to curb the multifaceted extortion crisis. Threat actors are reevaluating whether they should continue their criminal activities in light of the arrests and indictments,” Charles Carmakal, SVP and CTO of Mandiant told CBS News.

“Still, the timing is strange here,” Ken Westin, Director of Security Strategy for Cybereason cautioned, in an interview with CBS News. The Russian-led raids “could be a smokescreen or red herring.”

“Taking down a ransomware leader is like cutting the head off a hydra,” Westin added. “New leaders will step in to fill the void. The relationship between ransomware gangs and Russian APT groups are well known and the true actors behind these groups will continue to operate with impunity.”

On Thursday, prior to public reports of the Russian-led REvil operation, U.S. Secret Service cyber chief Jeremy Sheridan told the Washington Post that ransomware criminal actors often mature, evolve or adjust, reappearing under different facades.

“With these small groups working with illicit exchanges, there’s an expression that a colleague of mine uses,” Sheridan said. “It’s the same 200 people chasing the same 200 people. There are certainly the influx of new actors in this space. But a lot of times what we see with a new variant or a new cyberattack, it’s the same developers who have just changed their technology to some degree.”

Last summer, the State Department offered a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of key REvil group leaders.

In November, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced seizure of more than $6 million in cryptocurrency after REvil leader and Russian national Yevgeniy Igorevich Polyanin, scooped up $13 million from ransomware victims. The suspected “author” of the REVIL ransomware, Polyanin, has been charged with 14 counts of conspiracy to commit fraud, intentional damage to a protected computer, and money laundering.

CBS News has reached out to the Department of Justice, FBI and National Security Council  for comment. 

Margaret Brennan, Arden Farhi, Dan Patterson and Rob Legare contributed to this report. 

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Priyanka Gandhi Accuses UP Police Of Vandalising Students’ Hostel In Prayagraj




Prayagraj, Jan 25: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday accused the Uttar Pradesh Police of assaulting students and vandalising their hostel in Prayagraj for allegedly protesting against unemployment in the city. Sharing a purported video of the incident on Twitter, Priyanka Gandhi said, It is highly condemnable that police in Prayagraj are thrashing students and vandalising their lodges and hostels.

The administration should immediately stop this repressive action. The youth have every right to speak about employment and I am fully with them in this fight, she said. However, Senior Superintendent of Police, Prayagraj, Ajay Kumar said police received information that thousands of students were creating a ruckus near Prayag Railway Station and had blocked the rail track.

There was also an apprehension of some miscreants setting the trains on fire. So, police personnel with riot control equipment reached Prayag station and dispersed the protesters, he said. Some of them pelted stones at the policemen and hid in their hostel nearby. Police were trying to catch the culprits and some of the personnel used unnecessary force which is visible in the video, he said.

The incident is being investigated and a case is being registered against the rioting students under serious sections. The policemen who have used unnecessary force will be suspended, he added. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Railways has said railway job aspirants found involved involved in blocking rail tracks, causing disruption in train operations and damaging railway property will be barred from getting recruited.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here.

Source link

Continue Reading


PM Modi Committed to Honouring Real Heroes, Says Amit Shah on Padma Awards




According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the President approved the conferment of 128 Padma Awards. The list comprises 4 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 107 Padma Shri awards. (File pic/PTI)

He also remembered India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat who was killed in a chopper crash along with his wife and 12 other military personnel in Tamil Nadu last month.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated:January 25, 2022, 23:39 IST

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to honouring the “real heroes” as he congratulated those who have been given the Padma awards on Tuesday, on eve of the 73rd Republic Day. “No nation can excel without the contribution of selfless individuals working tirelessly to serve society. Congratulations to all those who have been conferred with the Padma Awards. PM @narendramodi Ji is committed to honouring our real heroes,” Shah tweeted.

He made a special mention of the late BJP leader and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, saying he “devoted his entire life in the interest of the country.” He gave a fear-free and public welfare-oriented administration to the people while serving as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, he said. “Conferring him with Padma Vibhushan by @narendramodi ji is a true tribute to the great and nation devoted life of Babuji,” Shah tweeted.

He also remembered India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat who was killed in a chopper crash along with his wife and 12 other military personnel in Tamil Nadu last month. “India’s first CDS Gen Bipin Rawat was an extraordinary patriot, who served the country will full devotion and dedication.” “Prime Minister @narendramodi ji has honoured his service to the nation in a true sense by honouring him with the Padma Vibhushan. For this, I congratulate Modi ji on behalf of the country,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the President approved the conferment of 128 Padma Awards. The list comprises 4 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 107 Padma Shri awards.

Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here.

Source link

Continue Reading


Chip shortage is economic and national security problem, Commerce secretary says




Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo issued a dire warning for Congress on semiconductor chips Tuesday, as the Commerce Department released results from its survey on the semiconductor supply chain that show chips are in short supply as demand booms.

“We aren’t even close to being out of the woods as it relates to the supply problems with semiconductors,” Raimondo said on a call with reporters. “The semiconductor supply chain is very fragile, and it’s going to remain that way until we can increase chip production in the United States.”

The mismatch between supply and demand is major, according to a Commerce Department’s report released Tuesday on the risks in the semiconductor supply chain, which surveyed more than 150 companies from around the world in September on all parts of the supply chain.

The survey found demand for chips was as much as 17% higher last year than it was in 2019, but buyers are not seeing a corresponding increase in the supply they receive. The supply of semiconductors has fallen from a median 40 days in 2019 to five days in 2021, and inventories are even smaller in key industries. Legacy logic chips used in medical devices, automobiles, and other products; analog chips used in power management, image sensors, radio frequency and other applications; and optoelectronics chips used in sensors and switches are among the kinds of chips bottlenecked.

The shortages are being felt by millions of Americans in the form of higher prices, as inflation in 2021 grew at its fastest pace in nearly 40 years. 

“I know inflation is on everybody’s mind, including ours. Auto prices drove a third of inflation, and why? Simply because we don’t have enough chips,” Raimondo said. She said the shortage is both an economic issue and a national security one.

Companies have been ramping up production. Semiconductor fabrication plants are running at more than 90% capacity, the survey found. Raimondo also said companies are partnering as a result of meetings at the White House to meet demand, including Ford with GlobalFoundries and GM with seven different semiconductor producers.

The department is engaging with companies that did not respond or provide a full picture on the situation to get a more accurate understanding of the supply chain challenges. Raimondo said the report’s data will help the department pinpoint their interventions. 

Raimondo also called on lawmakers to pass a version of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, which passed with bipartisan support in the Senate last year. It includes $52 billion for domestic semiconductor production. In a note to colleagues last week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will introduce its competitiveness bill soon to “supercharge our investment in chips, strengthen our supply chain and transform our research capacity.”

Raimondo said Tuesday that $52 billion is just a “drop in the bucket,” a stimulus, and companies will also have to invest enormous amounts of their own capital.

Source link

Continue Reading