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US charges Ukrainian ‘Raccoon Infostealer’ with cybercrimes

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A Ukrainian man being held by the Dutch authorities has been charged in the US with computer fraud for infecting millions of computers with malware./AFP
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Oct 26, 2022 - 09:33 AM

WASHINGTON — A Ukrainian man has been charged with computer fraud for allegedly infecting millions of computers with malware in a cybercrime operation known as “Raccoon Infostealer,” the US Justice Department said Tuesday.

Mark Sokolovsky, 26, is being held in the Netherlands and the United States is seeking his extradition, the department said in a statement.

It said Raccoon Infostealer malware was leased to cybercriminals for $200 a month, payable in cryptocurrency.

The malware was then installed on the computers of unsuspecting victims and used to steal personal data such as log-in credentials and financial information, the department said.

It said the FBI and law enforcement partners in Italy and the Netherlands dismantled the digital infrastructure supporting “Raccoon Infostealer” in March 2022, when Sokolovsky was arrested.

The Justice Department said the FBI has identified more than 50 million unique credentials and forms of identification such as email addresses and credit card numbers in the stolen data from millions of potential victims around the world.

“This case highlights the importance of the international cooperation that the Department of Justice and our partners use to dismantle modern cyber threats,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said.

“As reflected in the number of potential victims and global breadth of this attack, cyber threats do not respect borders, which makes international cooperation all the more critical,” Monaco said.

Sokolovsky is charged with computer fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft. He faces up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud and money laundering charges.

The Justice Department said Sokolovsky is appealing a September 2022 decision by the Amsterdam District Court granting his extradition to the United States.

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