7 arrested in global operation to nab cyberattackers

European authorities announced Monday that seven hacking suspects have been arrested since February in a global law enforcement effort on cyberattacks dubbed Operation GoldDust.

Romanian authorities last week arrested two people allegedly responsible for deploying REvil ransomware and obtaining more than $577,000 in ransom payments, according to Europol.

Three other suspected REvil affiliates and two suspected affiliates of the Russian-linked cyber gang GandCrab reportedly have been arrested since February.

REvil Group, also known as Sodinokibi, is a Russian-linked cyber gang accused of launching an international ransomware attack in July. Authorities say the group is responsible for a ransomware attack in May that disrupted operations for meat production company JBS in the U.S. and Australia.

“All these arrests follow the joint international law enforcement efforts of identification, wiretapping and seizure of some of the infrastructure used by Sodinokibi/REvil ransomware family, which is seen as the successor of GandCrab,” Europol said.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo are set to hold a press conference Monday afternoon to announce a “significant” law enforcement matter.

An unidentified U.S. official told The Associated Press on Monday that the announcement will be related to the cyberattack arrests.

Operation GoldDust includes officials from Europol, Eurojust, Interpol and 17 countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg,  Norway, Philippines, Poland, Romania, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Kuwait, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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