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    HomeBitcoinCanadian Cops Confiscate Bitcoin Worth Over $28 Million From Ex-Gov't Employee

    Canadian Cops Confiscate Bitcoin Worth Over $28 Million From Ex-Gov’t Employee


    Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins — a former Canadian authorities IT skilled — was charged with conspiracy to commit laptop and wire fraud, and different offenses in a federal courtroom in Florida, the US Division of Justice stated Friday.

    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) raided Vachon-Desjardins’s dwelling and seized 719 bitcoins value greater than $28 million, or 790,000 in Canadian foreign money.

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    Prosecutors declare he used the “NetWalker” ransomware to focus on companies, municipalities, hospitals, and regulation enforcement throughout the top of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The arrest comes within the face of a worldwide crackdown on ransomware. In November, US President Joe Biden promised to make use of “the total power of the federal authorities” to disrupt malicious cyber exercise.

    A number of large-scale operations have since introduced down ransomware teams comparable to Russia-based REvil and different associated hacking teams.

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    Bitcoin As Ransomware Cost

    The cybersecurity neighborhood more and more cites bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies as a big enabler of ransomware assaults.

    Suspected ransomware funds totaling $590 million have been made within the first six months of 2021 and have continued to exceed estimates because the early months of 2022, US authorities stated.

    One other main development that seems to be driving the rise in ransomware assaults this 12 months is the inflow of ransomware as a service provided by affiliated ransomware teams all over the world.

    Although the anonymity of cryptocurrency makes it an apparent approach for criminals to acquire and conceal funds, tighter regulation or a ban on blockchain-based currencies are unlikely to cease the tide of assaults.

    Ransomware and cryptocurrencies seem inseparably linked, with attackers virtually all the time demanding cost in digital currencies.

    Extradited From Canada

    In keeping with the US Division of Justice, Vachon-Desjardins was extradited to the US from Canada to “face fees in reference to dozens of ransomware assaults that resulted within the cost of tens of tens of millions of {dollars} in ransoms.”

    In keeping with the DOJ, Sebastien “conspired to and did purposefully hurt a protected laptop and transmit a ransom demand in reference to doing so” from April to December 2020.

    In January of final 12 months, the Justice Division began a concerted worldwide regulation enforcement operation to dismantle ransomware gang Netwalker.

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    The NetWalker

    NetWalker, also called “Mailto,” is a large-scale ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operation that recruits associates to deploy ransomware in alternate for a substantial minimize of the ransom cost. The group emerged in 2019 and has been linked to many high-profile assaults.

    The famed ransomware infiltrates particular networks and encrypts all Home windows units related to it.

    It renders units and correlated networks quickly inoperable till the victims have paid the ransom for the return of their information recordsdata, in addition to entry to their computer systems and networks.

    It’s distributed through numerous channels, together with web sites, social media, immediate messages, electronic mail attachments, and different modes of communication.

    NetWalker’s operators encrypt victims’ computer systems and demand ransoms starting from $1,000 to $3 million.

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