Threat Management

NetWalker ransomware affiliate enters guilty plea

CyberScoop reports that NetWalker ransomware gang affiliate Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins, who was extradited to the U.S. in March, has pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, intentional damage to a protected computer, and transmitting a demand in relation to damaging a protected computer. Vachon-Desjardins, who could face up to 40 years imprisonment and $1 million in fines for the charges, will also provide complete cooperation to the U.S. government's investigation of the NetWalker ransomware operation, as well as the prosecution of the group's other members, according to a document filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida's Tampa Division. "Mr. Vachon-Desjardins accepts full responsibility for his action. He awaits his sentencing," said Mark O'Brien, who serves as Vachon-Desjardins' legal counsel. NetWalker has reportedly collected $46 million or more from its victims from August 2019 to January 2021 before being disrupted by Canadian authorities, who were able to seize 719 Bitcoin, or nearly $14.5 million.

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