Two men arrested for Windows ransomware in Romania: Europol

Romanian authorities have arrested two men suspected of using the REvil Windows ransomware in some 5,000 attacks, police agency Europol said in a somewhat rambling statement.

More than half a million euros were stolen in ransom payment by the two men, the declaration added.

Five other men have been arrested since February, three on suspicion of using REvil and two of using GandCrab, a precursor to REvil, in ransomware attacks.

Seventeen countries were involved in the operation, known as GoldDust. The countries concerned are: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Kuwait, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Interpol and Eurojust organizations were also part of the withdrawal.

“At the beginning of October, an affiliate of Sodinokibi / REvil was arrested at the Polish border after the issuance of an international arrest warrant by the United States,” said the Europol statement.

“The Ukrainian national is suspected of having carried out the attack on Kaseya, which affected up to 1,500 downstream companies and for which Sodinokibi / REvil demanded a ransom of around 70 million euros.

“In addition, in February, April and October 2021, South Korean authorities arrested three affiliates implicated in the GandCrab and Sodinokibi / REvil ransomware families, which claimed more than 1,500 lives.

“On November 4, Kuwaiti authorities arrested another GandGrab affiliate, meaning a total of seven suspects linked to the two ransomware families have been arrested since February 2021. They are believed to have assaulted around 7,000 victims in total.

Last month, two ransomware operators were stopped in Ukraine.

Europol said at the time that the two men were suspected of a number of attacks on large European and North American targets from April 2020.


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