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U.S. authorities announced criminal charges, economic sanctions and a $10 million reward Tuesday for information leading to the arrest of a Russian accused of participating in a global ransomware campaign called Babuk, whose victims allegedly included D.C. police, an airline and other American industries.
The Treasury Department imposed an economic ban on financial dealings with Mikhail Matveev, calling him a central figure in launching cyberattacks against U.S. law enforcement, businesses and critical infrastructure in 2021.
“The United States will not tolerate ransomware attacks against our people and our institutions,” said Brian E. Nelson, treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. “Ransomware actors like Matveev will be held accountable for their crimes, and we will continue to use all available authorities and tools to defend against cyberthreats.”
According to analysis conducted by the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, 75 percent of ransomware-related incidents reported between July and December 2021 were linked to Russia, its proxies or people acting on its behalf. Matveev is a “key actor” in that system, the department said, helping develop and deploy Russian-linked ransomware variants such as Hive, LockBit and Babuk, with Hive alone targeting more than
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