Justice Department arrests two in ransomware hacks

According to the indictment, one defendant is accused of distributing REvil's ransomware across multiple companies, including the attack on Kaseya. 
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Department of Justice logo in 2019
Department of Justice logo in 2019
(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

An alleged hacker from Ukraine suspected of being responsible for a string of ransomware attacks against the U.S. has been arrested, officials confirmed Monday.

According to the Associated Press, Yaroslav Vasinskyi was arrested last month after returning to the U.S. following a trip to Poland. 

The Justice Department says it recovered over $6.1 million in stolen money from a Russian national who was charged alongside Vasinskyi. 

Vasinskyi is allegedly linked to the infamous Russian-backed hacker group known as the "REvil ransomware gang." 

Some of the most prolific and substantial attacks have been carried out by REvil, including the world's largest meat processor JBS SA and technology company Kaseya, which were attacked during the Fourth of July holiday, officials said.

According to the indictment, Vasinskyi is accused of distributing REvil's ransomware across multiple companies, including the attack on Kaseya. 

The Russian national Yevgeniy Polyanin is being charged separately for over 3,000 ransomware attacks on U.S. companies, and it's suspected he is partially responsible for the recent attack on Sinclair Broadcast Group which affected local news stations for days.

During a press conference about the arrests, Attorney General Merrick Garland scolded Russia for not doing enough to stop ransomware attacks saying "we expect and hope that any government in which one of these ransomware actors is residing will do everything it can to provide that person to us for prosecution."

Garland urged Congress to pass legislation that outlines how the federal government should respond to these types of technological crimes.