Security Experts:

Russian Man Extradited to US for Laundering Ryuk Ransomware Money

A Russian national has been extradited from the Netherlands to the United States, where he faces charges related to his alleged role in the Ryuk ransomware operation.

The suspect is 29-year-old Denis Mihaqlovic Dubnikov, whose trial is scheduled to begin on October 4.

According to authorities, cybercriminals who had been using the Ryuk ransomware to extort money from organizations relied on the man to launder the cryptocurrency received from victims.

The DoJ said Dubnikov was active between August 2018 and August 2021, helping launder significant amounts of money through various types of financial transactions. The goal was to hide the ownership, source, location and control of the ransom payments.

The DoJ said Dubnikov and his co-conspirators laundered at least $70 million, with Dubnikov himself allegedly laundering more than $400,000 in July 2019.

The Russian national was arrested in the Netherlands in November 2021 and he was extradited to the US this week.

He has been charged by a federal grand jury in Portland and he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.

The Ryuk file-encrypting ransomware emerged in 2018 and for a few years it was one of the most active operations, until it was gradually replaced by Conti over the course of 2020 and 2021. Ryuk was often observed targeting industrial organizations, and in early 2021 researchers estimated that the Ryuk criminal enterprise had been worth $150 million.

Related: Six Arrested for Roles in Clop Ransomware Operation

Related: Ransomware Affiliate Arrested in Romania

Related: U.S. Charges Two Suspected Major Ransomware Operators

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.