Ukrainian sentenced to 13 years in US prison for role in REvil ransomware attacks

Washington (AFP) - A Ukrainian man was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison in Texas on Wednesday for his role in ransomware attacks by the notorious Russia-based REvil hacking group, the US Justice Department said.

Yaroslav Vasinskyi, 24, who was extradited to the United States from Poland in 2022, pleaded guilty that same year to charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering and damaging protected computers.

Vasinskyi, also known as Rabotnik, was sentenced to 13 years and seven months in prison and ordered to pay $16 million in restitution for his involvement in more than 2,500 ransomware attacks.

“Vasinskyi and his co-conspirators hacked into thousands of computers around the world and encrypted them with ransomware,” principal deputy assistant attorney general Nicole Argentieri said in a statement.

“Then they demanded over $700 million in ransom payments and threatened to publicly disclose victims’ data if they refused to pay,” Argentieri said.

Among the companies targeted by REvil – an amalgam of ransomware and evil – was Kaseya, which provides IT services to some 40,000 businesses globally.

The Kaseya attack shut down a major Swedish supermarket chain and ricocheted around the world, impacting businesses in at least 17 countries, from pharmacies to gas stations to kindergartens.

Vasinskyi was arrested in Poland as part of a global operation against ransomware attacks by REvil, also known as Sodinokibi, and the ransomware group GandCrab.

In January 2022, Russia said it had dismantled REvil at the request of the United States.