Alleged operator of LockBit ransomware arrested in Canada

A Russian-Canadian dual national has been arrested in Canada for participating in the LockBit ransomware campaign. Photo: Stefani Reynolds / AFP
Source: AFP

A Russian-Canadian dual national allegedly involved in the global LockBit ransomware campaign has been arrested in Canada, US and European authorities announced Thursday.

Mikhail Vasiliev, 33, of Bradford, Ont., is now awaiting extradition to the United States, the US Department of Justice said in a statement.

“This arrest is the result of more than two and a half years of investigation into the LockBit ransomware group, which harmed victims in the United States and around the world. world“said Assistant United States Attorney General Lisa Monaco.

Europol said the arrest was the result of a complex investigation involving law enforcement in France, Canada and the United States.

He said LockBit has been used to carry out attacks against critical infrastructure and large industrial groups around the world, with ransom demands ranging from €5 million to €70 million ($5.1 million at $71.4 million).

According to a criminal complaint filed against Vasiliev in New Jersey, LockBit, which first surfaced in January 2020, has been deployed against up to 1,000 victims in the United States and other countries.

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LockBit members extracted tens of millions of dollars in ransoms from their victims, he said.

Vasiliev faces up to five years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to damage protected computers and transmit ransom demands.

Europol said two other suspected LockBit members were arrested in Ukraine in September.

Source: AFP


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