U.S. Offers $10 Mln For Capturing Russian Hacker Mikhail Matveev

The U.S. Government has offered an award of up to $10 million for information that leads to the arrest and/or conviction of Russian hacker Mikhail Matveev, who launched cyberattacks against U.S. law enforcement, businesses, and critical infrastructure.

The U.S. District Courts for the District of New Jersey and the District of Columbia unsealed indictments against Matveev, who is accused of hacking 2,800 victims and making ransom demands of at least $400 million.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed sanctions on Matveev.

Matveev has been a central figure in the development and deployment of the Hive, LockBit, and Babuk ransomware variants, among others. In 2021, Babuk ransomware affiliates attacked the police department of a major U.S. city. The hackers who infiltrated the police department’s computer network stole sensitive information about police officers, along with gangs, suspects of crimes, and witnesses. Matveev claimed responsibility for posting the stolen data online.

In addition to attacks on public institutions, Matveev has been linked to ransomware intrusions against numerous U.S. businesses, including a U.S. airline, the Treasury said.

The impacts of ransomware attacks are far-reaching, with victims experiencing the loss and disclosure of sensitive information and disruption of critical services. Russia is a haven for ransomware actors, enabling cybercriminals like Matveev to engage openly in ransomware attacks against U.S. organizations.

According to analysis conducted by Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), 75 percent of ransomware-related incidents reported between July and December 2021 were linked to Russia, its proxies, or persons acting on its behalf.

Russia-linked ransomware variants such as Hive, LockBit, and Babuk, which Matveev helped to develop and deploy, have been responsible for millions of dollars in losses to victims in the United States and around the world.

The Hive ransomware group alone has targeted more than 1,500 victims in over 80 countries, including hospitals, school districts, financial firms, and other critical infrastructure.

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