Ransomware, Threat Management

Feds extradite NetWalker ransomware operator

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins, a former Canadian government employee, has been extradited to the US to face various charges related to his involvement with the NetWalker ransomware gang, reports TechCrunch. Canadian police had found 719 bitcoin, or nearly $28.1 million, as well as $790,000 in Canadian currency after Vachon-Desjardins was arrested in January 2021 during an international crackdown on NetWalker. While Vachon-Desjardins has already been given a seven-year prison sentence in Canada, he continues to face separate charges in the U.S., including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and computer fraud, intentional damage to a protected computer, and transmitting a demand for protected computer damage, the fines for which may exceed $27 million. "As exemplified by the seizure of cryptocurrency by our Canadian partners, we will use all legally available avenues to pursue seizure and forfeiture of the alleged proceeds of ransomware, whether located domestically or abroad. The department will not cease to pursue and seize cryptocurrency ransoms, thereby thwarting the attempts of ransomware actors to evade law enforcement through the use of virtual currency," said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr.

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