The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that Ukrainian national Mark Sokolovsky has been charged in relation to his involvement in the Raccoon Stealer malware-as-a-service operation, according to CyberScoop.
Dutch authorities arrested Sokolovsky, who has been accused as one of the key administrators of the Raccoon Stealer operation, in March, which coincided with the disruption of the operation's digital infrastructure by the FBI and its Italian and Dutch counterparts. More than 50 million unique credentials and identification details have been stolen by Raccoon Stealer between 2018 and early 2022, said the Justice Department, which added that investigation on the stolen data continues.
The DOJ said that charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with computers, conspiracy to commit money laundering and aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud have been filed against Sokolovsky, who may be imprisoned for more than 25 years if convicted.
Data extortion has been increasingly leveraged by ransomware operations instead of data encryption, with the change in attack techniques fueled by improved ransomware detection systems and stronger law enforcement crackdowns on ransomware gangs, TechRepublic reports.
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