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Moscow court arrests suspected REvil ransomware hacker

The court placed Roman Muromsky in custody until March 13 on charges of illegal use of currencies

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. A Moscow court of Friday ruled to arrest a member of the REvil hacking group that used ransomware to block users from accessing their computers until they paid a sum of money.

The person, Roman Muromsky, is one of the 14 members of the group that had recently been detained in a joint operation by police and security service agents, a source in the law enforcement agencies told TASS.

The court placed Muromsky in custody at the request of the Interior Ministry until March 13 on charges of illegal use of currencies, according to court spokeswoman Ksenia Rozina. The offense is punishable by a prison term of up to seven years with a fine of up to one million rubles.

The Federal Security Service, or FSB, earlier said it conducted an operation jointly with the Interior Ministry in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the Moscow, Leningrad and Lipetsk regions to detain members of the REvil criminal group. It started the investigation following information from "competent US agencies that notified about a criminal group leader and its involvement in attacks on IT resources of foreign high-tech companies by implanting malware, encrypting data and extorting money for its decryption."

REvil is considered to be one of the world’s most prominent cybercrime groups, having attacked Apple and the government of Texas, among other major targets.

The FSB said it searched 25 places of residence of the 14 members of the group and seized more than 426 million rubles ($5.6 million) including denominated in cryptocurrency; $600,000; 500,000 euros; computer equipment, the crypto wallets that were used to perpetrate crimes, and 20 luxury cars that were purchased with illicitly obtained money. The suspects have been indicted.