US offers $10 million to Russian hacker

WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday announced a $10 million ransom for a Russian hacker suspected of being responsible for computer attacks on police at schools or hospitals.

Michael Matveev extorted at least $200 million from Russia using ransomware such as Lockbit, Babuk and Hive, according to the US Department of Justice.

The hacker “encrypted and held hostage the data of multiple victims, including hospitals, schools, associations and police,” said Philip Selinger, a federal prosecutor in New Jersey.

He is said to have used several false names, such as “Vajavaka,” “m1x,” or “Borycelsin.”

Ransomware used vulnerable computer systems to encrypt or steal data. Hackers then demand money and threaten not to decrypt or release this information.

The State Department offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

If convicted, Mikhail Matveev faces up to 20 years in prison.

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