• Russian Man Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev has been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for his alleged involvement in global ransomware campaigns worth up to $200 million.
• The DOJ claims Matveev and his conspirators deployed multiple ransomware variants, including LockBit, Babuk and Hive, which allowed them to steal and encrypt data from vulnerable computer systems.
• If convicted, Matveev could spend over 20 years in prison for his crimes.
Russian Man Faces Over 20 Years Behind Bars
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted a Russian man who allegedly participated in deploying multiple ransomware schemes in the United States and around the world that netted up to $200 million. Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev faces charges of conspiring to transmit ransom demands, conspiring to damage protected computers and intentionally damaging protected computers. If convicted, Matveev could spend over 20 years behind bars.
Details on Ransomware Campaigns
Mateev and his conspirators allegedly accessed numerous vulnerable computer systems via hacking or illegally purchased credentials between 2020 and 2022, according to the DOJ. After cracking into victims’ computers, they would deploy one of three ransomware variants, known as LockBit, Babuk and Hive, enabling the bad actors to steal and encrypt data. The group would subsequently issue the victim a ransom note. Victims who failed to pay would often have their private data posted online. Mateev’s ransomware deployments allegedly issued up to $400 million worth of ransom demands and secured up to $200 million in payments.
U.S Attorney Comments
Philip R. Sellinger, the US Attorney for the District of New Jersey commented on Mateev’s actions saying “From Russia and hiding behind multiple aliases, Matveev is alleged to have used these ransomware strains to encrypt and hold hostage for ransom the data of numerous victims, including hospitals, schools, nonprofits, and law enforcement agencies like the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington D.C.” He also thanked prosecutors from his office as well as FBI partners for bringing Mateev out from the shadows with their extraordinary investigative work leading him being charged with multiple federal crimes”
The indictment against Mateev serves as a warning that malicious actors are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks on vulnerable computer systems across many sectors ranging from healthcare institutions down to local law enforcement agencies leading them with no alternative but pay hefty amounts due ransoms imposed by attackers or suffer long-term consequences due leaked sensitive information been made public online if not paid .
Mateev is just one example among many malicious actors committing cybercrimes in an effort extort organizations globally leaving victims no choice but succumb paying ransoms or suffer long-term consequences due leaked sensitive information been made public online if not paid . It is essential now more than ever that organizations understand their cyber security posture thus be prepared mitigate such attacks before it’s too late .