One of Russia’s most notorious ransomware gangs was hit by a major raid.
Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, announced on January 14 a series of raids on 25 addresses associated with 14 REvil members in locations around Moscow, St. Petersburg and Lipetsk.
The ad did not specify how many of the associated hackers were arrested, but news outlet RIA Novosti released a video depicting several of the arrests.
In those raids, the FSB said it confiscated 426 million rubles ($5.5 million) in cash and cryptocurrency, as well as $600,000 in USD and 500,000 euros. They also seized an unspecified number of crypto wallets and 20 luxury cars.
According to the FSB, the agency conducted its raids in response to requests from U.S. authorities, which had identified REvil’s leadership. Russia’s ecosystem of cybergangs, especially those focused on ransomware, has become a central issue in relations between the U.S. and Russia over the past year. In October, U.S. President Joe Biden convened a roster of countries to talk ransomware, conspicuously leaving Russia out of the discussion.
U.S. authorities went on to conduct more aggressive international operations to find leaders of ransomware gangs. A consistent allegation has been that Russian President Putin tacitly condones the operations of cyber criminals within Russia as long as they do not target Russian entities.