Talk about money heist in real life…
On Monday, Ukrainian police arrested a 25-year-old man who hacked more than 100 foreign companies and caused total damage of more than $150 million.
The hacker, who has not yet been identified, used phishing attacks and hijacking software to remotely access the computers. Among the victims were “world-famous energy and tourism companies”, according to the police statement.
The Ukrainian police had to take help from law enforcement officials from U.S, France, Europol and interpol before they finally caught the culprit. Police conducted searches at the defendant’s house as well as his relatives. “As a result, computer equipment, mobile phones, vehicles and more than 360 thousand dollars in cash were seized. In addition, $1.3 million was blocked on the attacker’s cryptocurrencies,” the police said.
Europol said in a separate statement that “two prolific ransomware operators known for their extortionate ransom demands” were arrested in coordinated raids. “The organized crime group is suspected of having committed a string of targeted attacks against very large industrial groups in Europe and North America from April 2020 onwards,” Europol said. The criminals would deploy malware and steal sensitive information from these companies before encrypting their files.
The hackers would then blackmail the companies for a ransom payment before releasing the decryption key to them and allowing them access to their data. The random asked by the criminals were of several million euros with the disclosure of the stolen data at stake. The companies were threatened that the data would be posted on the dark web if their demands were not met and they didn’t get the money on time.
Hopefully, the criminals would be put behind bars so they can’t continue with more heists in the future.