International authorities arrest ransomware gang members in Ukraine

On October 4, Europol announced the arrest of two ransomware operators in Ukraine, part of a crackdown on a larger organized cybercrime group that targeted industrial groups in North America and the EU.

The ransomware operators were not named, nor was the operating group or strain of ransomware they deployed. The only specifics were that they charged victims between €5 and €70 million to decrypt affected files.  

Europol reported seizure of cash, luxury vehicles, and $1.3 million in cryptocurrencies. 

In addition to Europol's cybercrime team, the investigation involved participation from the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine, France, the U.S. and Interpol. 

Since high-profile attacks on the Colonial Pipeline and JBS earlier this year, ransomware has skyrocketed as a priority for international cooperation. As part of cybersecurity month, the Biden administration recently announced plans to convene 30 allied countries to discuss the subject. 

Not party to many of the international agreements that govern communications and cybersecurity, eastern Europe continues to be a hotbed for ransomware and cybercrime