Russian FSB arrests hackers at US request

The Russian security agency said it arrested members of a hacker group at the request of the United States. The group is suspected of carrying out major cyberattacks against American companies.

The Federal Security Service, or FSB, announced Friday that it has arrested 14 members of the Russia-based ransomware criminal group REvil.

The FSB says it also confiscated computers, vehicles and other items believed to have been used in the crimes. The FSB claims it has dismantled the group, stating: “The organized criminal association has ceased to exist”.

REvil is suspected of attacking businesses and organizations in the United States and around the world, using a malicious computer program known as “ransomware” to demand payment of a ransom.

A senior US government official told reporters on Friday that one of those arrested was involved in a cyberattack on the operator of a major US pipeline last May. Colonial Pipeline paid the requested ransom.

The official noted that the US government was satisfied with Russia’s actions.

Despite ongoing tensions over the situation in Ukraine, the United States and Russia have continued high-level talks on cyberattacks and other issues since a bilateral summit last June.

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