Friday, 10 September 2021 09:07

Ransomware group irked by US extradition of Ukrainian Featured

Ransomware group irked by US extradition of Ukrainian Pixabay

The people behind a new ransomware group, Groove, have threatened to start attacking public sector businesses in Ukraine if the government of that country does not stop extraditing citizens to the US.

The warning came soon after the US announced that it was extraditing Glib Oleksandr Ivanov-Tolpintsev (28 of Chernivtsi, Ukraine) over alleged conspiracy, trafficking in unauthorised access devices, and trafficking in computer passwords.

Groove made its presence felt recently by leaking half-a-million credentials for users of Fortinet's VPN services.

The warning was tweeted out by veteran ransomware researcher Brett Callow who works with the new Zealand-based security outfit Emsisoft.

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In response, Mark Arena, the chief executive of security firm Intel471, pointed out that the Ukrainian constitution forbade the extradition of citizens to foreign countries.

"In the specific case mentioned, the Ukrainian citizen was picked up in Poland and extradited to the US from there," he added, information that was contained in the US media statement.

It said Ivanov-Tolpintsev was arrested in Korczowa, Poland, on 3 October 2020, and extradited to the US on 7 September this year.

It alleged he had controlled a botnet,using which he conducted brute-force attacks designed to decrypt numerous computer login credentials simultaneously.

"During the course of the conspiracy, Ivanov-Tolpintsev stated that his botnet was capable of decrypting the login credentials of at least 2000 computers every week," the statement said.

"Ivanov-Tolpintsev then sold these login credentials on a dark web website that specialised in the purchase and sale of access to compromised computers.

"Once sold, credentials were used to facilitate a wide range of illegal activity, including tax fraud and ransomware attacks."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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