The Russian developed ransomware and attacked American enterprises
A Russian citizen has pleaded guilty to developing and deploying malware known as Trickbot, which was used to launch cyberattacks on American hospitals and other businesses. This is stated on the website US Department of Justice.
According to court documents and public reports, Vladimir Dunaev, 40, of Amur Blast, provided specialized services and technical capabilities to implement the Trickbot scheme.
Trickbot, which was shut down in 2022, was a set of malware designed to steal money and facilitate the installation of ransomware. Trickbot's millions of victims included hospitals, schools and businesses, which suffered tens of millions of dollars in losses.
The Trickbot malware, which served as the initial intrusion vector into victims' computer systems, was used to support various ransomware variants.
Dunaev developed browser modifications and malicious tools that helped collect credentials and information from infected computers, facilitated and expanded the remote access used by Trickbot participants, and created program code to prevent legitimate security programs from detecting Trickbot malware.
During Dunaev's involvement in the scheme, 10 victims in Northern Ohio, including Avon schools and a North Canton real estate company, were defrauded of more than $3,4 million by ransomware launched by Trickbot.
In 2021, the Russian citizen was extradited from the Republic of Korea to the Northern District of Ohio.
Dunaev pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit computer fraud and identity theft, as well as conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. The verdict in his case will be announced on March 20, 2024, he faces a maximum penalty of 70 years in prison (35 years on two counts).
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In June, one of Dunaev’s accomplices, Alla Witte, a developer of the Trickbot malware and a Latvian citizen, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit computer fraud and was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.
The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed financial sanctions against several alleged Trickbot participants.
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