Police in Ukraine He said they were arrested on Wednesday Members of a large ransomware gang.
The arrests are the first time a law enforcement agency has announced the massive arrest of a large number of hackers who extorted money from Americans by encrypting an organization’s files or threatening to leak them to the public.
The mob, known as Cl0p, has hacked several U.S. targets, including the University of Miami, the University of Florida, Stanford University, the University of Maryland and the University of Colorado, to keep their systems active or to prevent them from being published.
This bust comes as ransomware has quietly moved from a widely circulated cyber security issue to a widely discussed national security issue, thanks to a series of high-profile attacks threatening to disable some U.S. supply chains.
Ukraine’s announcement coincided with President Joe Biden’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva. Biden Anticipated Press Putin to take action against ransomware hackers operating within Russia’s borders.
Ransomware has become a significant problem in the United States. Recent ransomware attacks have abbreviated the colonial pipeline, shutting down the country’s largest fuel pipeline for five days, and JBS, one of the nation’s largest meat suppliers.
It is believed that most ransomware gangs operate in Eastern Europe, especially in Russia.
Ukrainian cyber police announced the arrest of 6 people linked to Cl0p, and confiscated a large number of computers, cars and about 5 million Ukrainian hryvnia (5,000 185,000) in cash.
A video released by Ukrainian authorities showed more armed officers appearing in apartments and seizing money and everything from computers and luxury cars.
Although Cl0p is not a very prosperous ransomware gang, since it became active in the summer of 2020, it has largely hacked dozens of targets in the US and South Korea, said Alan Lisca, ransomware analyst at cybersecurity firm Record Future.
“Although they are not considered a top ransomware cast, their methods are quite complex,” he said.
Interpol, an international police organization that often assists in cybercrime investigations, said it had assisted in the case, a spokesman said in an email.
This is a growing story. Check back for updates.