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Britain sanctions seven Russian cyber criminals - Iain Fraser Cybersecurity Journalist

Britain sanctions seven Russian cyber criminals
By Iain Fraser Cybersecurity Journalist - Gibraltar

In a coordinated action with the US the United Kingdom has issued sanctions against seven Russian nationals accused of a myriad of cyber crimes in particular using Ransomware to effectively incapacitate a variety of organisations, particularly corporates, hospitals, local authorities and even schools.

The Conti & Ryuk Ransomware programs attacked 149 victims in an effort to extort over €30 million (27 million GBP) from the targeted organisations.

In a statement Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the new sanctions helped put Britain's national security first and would protect people from serious organised crime.

"By sanctioning these cyber criminals, we are sending a clear signal to them and others involved in ransomware that they will be held to account," he said

The National Cyber Security Centre, a part of GCHQ, has assessed that key group members are "highly likely" to have strong links to the Russian Intelligence Services from which they are sometimes directed.

The BBC has named the individuals sanctioned as: Vitaliy Kovalev, Valery Sedletski, Valentin Karyagin, Maksim Mikhailov, Dmitry Pleshevskiy, Mikhail Iskritskiy and Ivan Vakhromeyev however arrest are highly unlikely unless the individuals leave Russian airspace.

Previously the US and UK worked together on sanctions issued against alleged members of cyber-crime group Evil Corp in 2020. Authorities allege that some of the men in the latest sanctions could have formerly worked for the group. 

Iain Fraser Cybersecurity Journalist

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