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A major ransomware group — who extorted Americans — was arrested by Ukrainian police officers. The law enforcement agency announced the arrest of ransomware hackers on June 16, 2021— marking the first time they reported a mass apprehension.
According to the police, the group extorted Americans by either encrypting company’s files or threatened to release the information to the public. The hackers, known as Cl0p, compromised a number of American targets, including Stanford University, University of Colorado, University of Maryland, and the University of Miami, Florida.
The group would demand the facilities to pay them in order to keep their systems functional or to not publish the information they were able to steal.
Thanks to a series of prominent attacks that threatened some United States supply chains, the hackers went from a quietly pervasive cybersecurity issue to one broadly discussed as a national security problem.
President Joe Biden is expected to press Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to take action against the hackers. The ransomware group operates with impunity within Russia’s borders.
Recently ransomware has become a huge problem within the U.S. One attack briefly shut down the country’s largest fuel pipeline — Colonial Pipeline — for five days. Another ransomware attack that recently happened was against JBS, one of the largest meat suppliers in the U.S.
Most people believe the majority of most prolific ransomware groups work in Eastern Europe — particularly in Russia.
Cyber police in Ukraine said they arrested six people involved with the Cl0p. They added they seized cars, computers, and around five million Ukrainian hryvnia — $185,000 American.
Ukrainian authorities released a video showing heavily armed officers raiding homes. They seized luxury cars, cash, and stacks of cash in the footage.
According to a ransomware analyst at the cybersecurity company Recorded Future, Allan Liska, the Cl0p group, hacked dozens of targets —in South Kora and the U.S. — since they started in the summer of 2020.
Written by Sheena Robertson
NBC: Luxury cars and $100 bills: Police bust ransomware gang in Ukraine; by Kevin Collier
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