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Suspected hackers arrested in global ransomware crackdown


By Eric Tucker

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON—Two suspected hackers accused of  ransomware attacks resulting in 5,000 infections have been arrested as part of a global cybercrime crackdown, Europol announced Monday.

The two, who were not identified by name, were arrested last week by Romanian authorities. Officials say the attacks, linked to the
ransomware gang known as REvil, yielded about half a million euros in ransom payments.

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The arrests were part of a 17-nation operation that involved the United States.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco appeared to foreshadow Monday’s announcement in an interview with The Associated Press last week, saying that “in the days and weeks to come, you’re going to see more arrests.”

The Justice Department has tried multiple ways to address a ransomware wave that it regards as a national security and economic threat, including through prosecutions like the ones announced Monday.

The Justice Department in June seized $2.3 million in cryptocurrency from a payment made by Colonial Pipeline following a ransomware  attack that caused the company to temporarily halt operations, creating fuel shortages in parts of the country.