Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



US Offering $10M Reward for Russian Man Charged With Ransomware Attacks

The US is offering a $10 million reward for information on a Russian man accused of launching ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure.

Mikhail Matveev charged for ransomware

Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev, a 30-year-old Russian national, has been charged by the US Justice Department for his alleged role in numerous ransomware attacks, including ones targeting critical infrastructure. 

Matveev — known online as Wazawaka, m1x, Boriselcin, and Uhodiransomwar — has been charged with conspiring to transmit ransom demands, conspiring to damage protected computers, and intentionally damaging protected computers.

He faces over 20 years in prison, but he is unlikely to be arrested and convicted any time soon considering that he is believed to be living in Russia. While law enforcement cooperation between Russia and the US seemed to be improving before the start of the Ukraine war, it’s unlikely that Russia will hand over any cybercriminals to the United States given their current relations. 

According to the US Justice Department, Matveev has been affiliated with several major ransomware operations, including LockBit, Hive and Babuk. He and other members of these operations allegedly targeted thousands of entities in the United States and elsewhere, including hospitals, schools, airlines, businesses, law enforcement, and other government organizations. 

The specific examples shared by authorities include the LockBit attack on a Passaic County (NJ) police department, a Hive attack on a healthcare organization in Mercer County (NJ), and a Babuk attack on the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department. 

Prosecutors pointed out that the three ransomware operations in which Matveev was involved demanded as much as $400 million from their victims, and they are believed to have received up to $200 million. 

Matveev was revealed to be Wazawaka by Brian Krebs in early 2022, which the Russian confirmed shortly after. In August 2022, he gave an interview to The Record in which — using his real name — detailed his hacking activities. 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

In addition to the charges brought against him, Matveev has been added to the FBI’s Most Wanted list, and the Treasury Department announced sanctions against him. The Department of State announced that it’s prepared to award up to $10 million for information that leads to the man’s arrest.

The LockBit ransomware operation continues to be highly active, but Hive has been shut down by law enforcement. In the case of Babuk, its source code was leaked in 2021, which has led to the creation of several new ransomware families

The FBI described Matveev as one of the “developers/administrators behind the Babuk ransomware variant”.

Related: Russian Man Who Laundered Money for Ryuk Ransomware Gang Sentenced

Related: Russian National Arrested in Canada Over LockBit Ransomware Attacks

Written By

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.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

SecurityWeek’s Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit brings together security practitioners from around the world to share war stories on breaches, APT attacks and threat intelligence.


Securityweek’s CISO Forum will address issues and challenges that are top of mind for today’s security leaders and what the future looks like as chief defenders of the enterprise.


Expert Insights

Related Content


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group informed some customers last week that their online accounts had been breached by hackers.


As it evolves, web3 will contain and increase all the security issues of web2 – and perhaps add a few more.


A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...


Satellite TV giant Dish Network confirmed that a recent outage was the result of a cyberattack and admitted that data was stolen.


Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Artificial Intelligence

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Artificial Intelligence

The degree of danger that may be introduced when adversaries start to use AI as an effective weapon of attack rather than a tool...