NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Multiple Russian nationals have been charged in connection to cyber crimes in Tennessee and other U.S. states, according to a release from the Department of Justice.
Three indictments were unsealed on Wednesday charging multiple Russian cybercriminals involved in Conti ransomware and Trickbot malware schemes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Tennessee.
A federal grand jury in Middle Tennessee charged Maksim Galochkin, aka Bentley; Maksim Rudenskiy, aka Buza; Mikhail Mikhailovich Tsarev, aka Mango; and Andrey Yuryevich Zhuykov, aka Defender, with conspiring to use Conti ransomware to attack businesses, nonprofits and governments in the U.S. starting in 2020 through June 2022.
“Conti was a ransomware variant used to attack more than 900 victims worldwide, including victims in the Middle District of Tennessee, approximately 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and approximately 31 foreign countries,” the DOJ explained.
“According to the FBI, in 2021, Conti ransomware was used to attack more critical infrastructure victims than any other ransomware variant. According to court documents and public reporting, Trickbot, which was taken down in 2022, was a suite of malware tools designed to steal money and facilitate the installation of ransomware. Hospitals, schools, and businesses were among the millions of Trickbot victims who suffered tens of millions of dollars in losses.”
Victims from Conti include hospital systems, local governments and foreign governments. The DOJ said the conspirators allegedly extorted funds from victims in the Middle District of Tennessee and encrypted the computer systems of a local sheriff’s department, a local police department, and local emergency medical services, among others.
“The conspirators who developed and deployed Conti ransomware victimized businesses, governments, and non-profits around the world, including a sheriff’s office and an emergency medical service in Tennessee,” said United States Attorney Henry C. Leventis for the Middle District of Tennessee. “We will continue to use the full power of this office to ensure that hackers can no longer hide behind their computer screens and to hold them accountable.”
Galochkin, Rudenskiy, Tsarev, and Zhuykov are all charged with conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and wire fraud conspiracy. If convicted, they could face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.
You can read the indictment in its entirety below:
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