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Ukraine Cracks Down On Ransomware Gang Tied To US, S. Korean Cyberattacks

Ukrainian police have carried out more than 20 raids against alleged ransomware hackers from a group called Clop, which has been blamed for the loss of nearly a half billion dollars in cyberattacks, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

The attacks have especially affected the U.S. and South Korea, according to the AP.

Police said there have been 21 raids completed as of Wednesday (June 16) on the homes of suspects believed to be affiliated with the Clop ransomware based in Kiev and other places, the AP reported. Computer equipment has been seized from the raids along with about $185,000.

Allan Liska, an analyst with the cybersecurity firm Recorded Future told the AP that the raid Wednesday was “a continuation of the much more aggressive posture that law enforcement has taken against ransomware gangs this year. It really does feel like law enforcement has figured out how to attack the ransomware scourge, and hopefully, will slow down the attacks.”

There have been six defendants that carried out cyberattacks against companies based in the U.S. and South Korea. They face up to eight years in prison on charges of computer crime and money laundering, according to a statement quoted by the AP.

Several prominent ransomware gangs operate with Kremlin tolerance, the AP reported, with Russia neither prosecuting nor extraditing them. U.S. President Joe Biden had made it a priority to convince Russian president Vladimir Putin to change that at Wednesday’s Geneva meeting.

However, as the AP reported, it’s unclear what progress Biden made to that end.

The pandemic saw a doubling of cyberattacks against Europe, PYMNTS reported. The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) said 2020 had 304 attacks where 2019 only had 146. Hospital and healthcare networks were the victims of some of the largest upticks in the attacks.

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