Developer jailed for aiding Trickbot ransomware behind $800M crypto theft

A Russian national involved in the development of ransomware Trickbot, used to attack hospitals and steal over $833 million in crypto, has been sentenced to over five years in prison, the Department of Justice (DoJ) said on Thursday.

Forty-year-old Vladimir Dunaev pleaded guilty to developing and deploying Trickbot together with co-conspirators until it was taken down in 2022. Hospitals, schools, and businesses were among the “millions” of victims targeted by the ransomware group, the DoJ wrote in a statement.

Trickbot is a suite of tools that can be used to infect computers with ransomware, allowing criminals to collect victim credentials and steal their funds.  

Dunaev helped develop software for Trickbot that stole data from infected computers. His work improved the ransomware’s ability to hide from anti-virus software and refined the process for bad actors to access it remotely

Read more: Bitcoin ransomware gang claims to have hacked major UK water provider

According to the DOJ, while Dunaev worked on Trickbot, “10 victims in the Northern District of Ohio, including Avon schools and a North Canton real-estate company, were defrauded of more than $3.4 million.”

Dunaev was arrested in South Korea and extradited to the US in 2021. A guilty plea was submitted on November 30, 2023, and he was charged with conspiracy to commit computer fraud, identity theft, wire fraud, and bank fraud. He was sentenced to five years and four months in prison.

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