27 Years Old Russian Arrested for offering $1 Million to USA based company employee for planting malware

Cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world – Ginni Rommety.

With the advancement of technology, the Cyberworld is also emerging with some evil mindsets. They are always waiting for the opportunity to take privileges of the system.

The FBI has arrested recently Russian nationalist named Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov on the charge of implanting malware in a U.S. based company with the help of a targeted company’s employee by offering $1 Millon.

Twenty-seven years old, Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov in furtherance of the conspiracy and to accomplish the object “On or about July 16, 2020, used his WhatsApp account to contact the employee of Victim Company and arranged to visit in person in the District of Nevada” -according to the court documents. 

He entered the United States using his Russian Passport on a B1/B2 tourist visa and purchased a cellular telephone in the United States to contact the victim company’s employee.

Then he traveled to Reno, Nevada from San Francisco, California, in a rented vehicle and stayed in a hotel in Sparks, Nevada.

On August 3, he met with the employee in person and invited the employee to participate in a “special project” with him and his co-conspirators and explained to him as follows:

The co-conspirators would provide the employee with malware to manually download and transmit into the Victim Company computer system. And to perform DDOS to divert attention from the malware attack. Distributed Denial of service attack is used to create a lot of traffic over the particular network. So that their Intrusion Detection System is unable to detect that specific threat over their network. After the situation becomes normal, they can start capturing data from the victim company’s computer system and demand a high ransom for not to leak the data publicly and keep their secrets private. 

Malware attacks would allow them to extract important data from the victim company’s computer system. This data includes important credentials, including passwords of all employees and their visitors.

For the above deal, He promised to pay the employee USD 1,000,000 in the form of cryptocurrency, especially bitcoin, after the malware was transmitted. Kriuchkov and the employee both agreed on the deal and its consequences. Also, Kriuchkov advised him to delete all chats and contact to become innocent about this threat.

Kriuchkov meets the employee again to encourage and to inform him that his co-conspirators can pay half payment in advance for the conspiracy. They asked the employee to download “Tor Browser” for anonymous access to the internet and to facilitate payments smoothly by mode of cryptocurrency and also advised him to manage bitcoin wallets. Bitcoin is the emerging currency used for anonymous payments and has no tracking history. They can easily convert their bitcoin after the effect of this threat.

Kriuchkov informed the employee about the ransomware and their effect and about how the victim’s company usually negotiates with them to pay less random than initial demand. Also how sometimes they need to sell these data on the dark web if the company denies to pay them. They previously managed a program called “Exploit” for such an online arrangement. However, the employee expressed his concern about not being able to trust in such scams. But Kriuchkov 

able to convince him for the full payment after the job completion.

If an employee agrees to the arrangement, the group would provide the malware in either a Thumb drive to be inserted into a USB computer drive or an Email with an attachment containing malware.

After being contacted by the FBI’s Las Vegas Field Office, Kriuchkov drove overnight from Reno, Nevada, to Los Angeles and informed his acquaintance to manage an airline ticket for him in an attempt to fly out of the country and to reach the safest place. He wants to become innocent until anyone has proof against him and his conspiracy. Until that point, he negotiated all the allegations against him and deleted all the contacts and clues to make his journey safe and clean.

After being arrested, Investigation under the physical surveillance of Kriuchkov revealed that he, including his gang, used the same conspiracy of malware installation earlier in many companies by co-conspiracy of victims company employees. Also revealed the name of some big companies suffering from such a threat and paid a hefty ransom.

Finally, he got charged for the conspiracy to cause intentional damage. 

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