The US authorities found and neutralized the cryptocurrency ransomware NetWalker, and also seized half a million dollars in cryptocurrency.
According to the press release, almost $500,000 in cryptocurrency was confiscated as part of the case to destroy the virus. Also, the US Department of Justice announced the arrest of Canadian citizen Sebastian Vashon-Desjardins. It is noted that the detainee spent tens of millions of US dollars as a NetWalker intermediary.
According to preliminary estimates, over the course of its existence, NetWalker robbed people worth $46 million. However, the virus was most active against the backdrop of a pandemic, when the average ransom amount was $65,000.
Victims of NetWalker Ransomware Virus
According to the Justice Department, at least 305 victims from 27 countries, including 203 from the United States, suffered from NetWalker.
“The attacks specifically target the health sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, using the global crisis to extort victims,” the Justice Department said.
According to Chainalysis calculations, in any attack from NetWalker four participants are involved: an administrator or developer (8-10% of the profit), a partner (76-80%), and two authorized roles (2.5-5% each).
The middleman is usually responsible for accessing the victim’s network and deploying the ransomware virus, Chainalysis noted. However, there are cases when 100% of the payment goes exclusively to the administrator’s wallet.
Recall that last year the Federal Bureau of Investigation calculated how much money was paid to cyber attackers as a ransom. It is estimated that in the period from October 1, 2013, to November 7, 2019, extortion was committed in the amount of about $144.35 million.
A virus called Ryuk robbed citizens of $61.26 million on average per year. Crysis/Dharma viruses raised $24.48 million over a nearly three-year period. In third place was the Bitpaymer virus, which has been able to steal $8.04 million over the past two years.
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