The US authorities have accused a Russian man participating in several ransomware gangs that targeted hospitals, schools, and police stations.
According to the Department of Justice, Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev, also known online as Wazawaka, was an active participant in three ransomware gangs that combined demanded $400 million from victims and got close to $200 million in ransom payments.
Typically, ransomware groups hack into computer networks and install harmful software that encrypts devices and makes them unusable. The organizations threaten to post stolen material online if the ransom is not paid and seek extortion payments in cryptocurrencies.
According to reports, Matveev belonged to the Lockbit, Babuk, and Hive ransomware gangs. These organizations are “ranked among the most active and destructive cybercriminal threats in the world,” Philip Sellinger, the US attorney for the district of New Jersey, stated in an indictment. According to Sellinger, Matveev and other ransomware gang members assaulted up to 2,800 people in the US and other countries.
The District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department, which was subjected to a ransomware attack in 2021, is one of the alleged victims. Dozens of personnel files that had been taken were then published by the hackers.