FBI Confiscated $2.3 Mill in Cryptocurrency Obtained in Cyberattacks
The FBI announced that US law enforcement authorities have seized a stockpile of bitcoins worth $2.3 million, thought to represent the majority of the extortion money from cyberattacks.
According to court documents, a Federal Bureau of Investigation summer investigation collected $2.3 million in bitcoin stolen in various hacks allegedly carried out by a Russian-based hacker.
"The United States of America files this verified complaint in rem against 39.89138522 Bitcoin Seized From Exodus Wallet 'the Defendant Property' that is now located and in the custody and management of the Federal Bureau of Investigation 'FBI' Dallas Division, One Justice Way, Dallas Texas," the Complaint for Forfeiture read.
The bitcoin account in question, or the wallet, is related to a series of hacks allegedly carried out by an individual named Aleksandr Sikerin, whose last known address was in St. Petersburg, according to the paper.
He is thought to be a member of the Russian ransomware group REvil, whose ransom payments were reportedly found in his wallet that was confiscated on August 3.
REvil leaders are wanted by the US
According to the complaint, REvil was responsible for various cyberattacks totaling more than $200 million in the United States and other regions of the world between 2019 and 2021.
Two more accused of being affiliated with the cybercriminal organization are Russian Yevgeniy Polyanin and Ukrainian Yaroslav Vasinskyi, who were charged with ransomware attacks against the US in early November by US officials.
While Vasinskyi, wanted by the US, is awaiting extradition in Poland, Polyanin has been proclaimed wanted by the FBI that believes he is currently in Barnaul, Russia.
Last month, Washington announced a reward of up to $10 million for information on any REvil commanders, as well as a $5 million reward for information on individuals planning assaults on the group's behalf.