UK imposes ‘first of their kind’ sanctions on Russian hackers who attacked British firms, schools and hospitals
The UK government has imposed “first of their kind” sanctions on seven Russian hackers accused of using ransomware attacks to take millions from British firms.
The Russian hackers are alleged to have used “cynical cyberattacks” to extort at least £27m from 149 British victims, including schools, hospitals, and private businesses.
The cybercriminals will now be subject to travel bans, asset freezes, and restrictions in their access to the global financial system, after being sanctioned by British and US authorities.
The hackers are accused of using ransomware attacks to target British victims including the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, multiple local councils, and food distribution company Reed Boardall.
The Russian group is also accused of launching attacks against victims in countries across the globe, including the Irish Health Service and the Costa Rican government.
The sanctions follow a “lengthy investigation” by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) into the group believed to be behind the Trickbot malware.
The UK’s foreign secretary James Cleverly said: “By sanctioning these cyber criminals, we are sending a clear signal to them and others involved in ransomware that they will be held to account.”
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) believe the seven hackers likely maintain links to Russia’s intelligence services.
The cybercriminals were among the first hackers to state their support for Russia’s war in Ukraine, in publicly backing Putin within 24 hours of the invasion.