US Alleges Top Russian Cyber Hackers Tried to Cover Digital Tracks With Bitcoin

Russia’s most notorious state cyberhackers used bitcoin to cover their ties to critical hacking campaign “infrastructure” such as servers and domain names, according to an indictment unsealed Monday by U.S. prosecutors.

  • Six members of Russia’s state-run hacking teams who allegedly targeted “thousands” of victims across companies, political campaigns, governments and the 2018 Winter Olympics through Russian Military Unit 7445 are named in the suit.
  • Prosecutors also allege they were responsible for 2017’s catastrophic “NotPetya” malware attack that caused billions of dollars in damage. Security researchers have made such claims before.
  • NotPetya was based on the petya bitcoin ransomware exploit but with a malicious twist, prosecutors allege: “Even if victims paid the ransom ($300 worth of bitcoin), the Conspirators would not be able to decrypt and recover the victims’ computer files.”

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