Bloomberg has shed light on the Latvian citizen accused by US authorities of carrying out cybercrime, Ala Witt known as “Max”, who started the hacking business as a computer programmer, according to YouTube videos and social media posts..
At the time the woman was in her late forties, had a degree in applied mathematics and was passionate about doing computer programming..
But there was a darker side to Witt’s interest in computers, according to federal prosecutors. In the six years leading up to October 2018, Witt had gone from being an amateur developer to a major cog in the ransomware group Trickbot..
Witt, 55, was detained by US authorities in Miami, and the federal indictment revealed some information about her.
Authorities moved Witt to Cleveland, where she was one of seven alleged members of the Trekbot gang facing charges for their role in a global scam, data theft and ransomware operation. The group operated from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus..
But Witt is the first alleged member of the Trickbot gang to be detained in the United States. She appeared before the investigating judge, on June 4, to charge her.
According to Bloomberg, Witt waived her rights at the hearing. No pleadings have been presented in the case so far. Attorney General Louis did not respond to requests for comment.
Alex Holden, founder of cyber-investigation firm Hold Security, said that if Witt cooperates with authorities, her comments could be invaluable at a time when the Biden administration and a newly formed Justice Department task force target ransomware and other cybercrime..
It can also help US officials understand the structure of a complex and large-scale cybercrime operation with many advantages that enable it to evade the oversight of US Cyber Command and Microsoft in 2020, Holden said..