Russia cooperates with US request, arrests ransomware attackers

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The Russian FSB security agency arrested 14 alleged members of a Russia-based ransomware gang on January 14, including a hacker behind the 2021 attack on the Colonial Pipeline in the United States.

According to a report by The Washington Post, the timing of the arrests was not coincidental: that this kind of cooperation “would cease if the United States and Western allies impose sanctions in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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An official opined that “Russia will be pursuing legal action (against the ransomware attackers) within its own system.”

Photos of Russian Yevgeniy Polyanin, wanted by the FBI, are displayed on monitors as Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at a news conference on cybercrime on Nov. 8, 2021. (Andrew Harnik/AP via The Washington Post)

Read the full story via The Washington Post (paywall)

Why it matters

While few ransomware cases rise to this level of attention, it’s a constant threat within and outside of the media and entertainment market space.  This case showcases the recurring theme of government intervention against bad actors in the cyber world.  It’s just a few degrees of separation from recent anti-piracy collaborations we’ve seen between law enforcement, investigators and regulators across Europe, Asia, the United States and elsewhere.

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