Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Ransomware

Canada Sentences LockBit Hacker Mikhail Vasiliev to 4 Years

Dual Canadian-Russian National Also Agrees to US Extradition
Canada Sentences LockBit Hacker Mikhail Vasiliev to 4 Years
LockBit affiliate Mikhail Vasiliev received a four-year prison sentence in Canadian court Tuesday.

LockBit ransomware affiliate Mikhail Vasiliev on Tuesday received a nearly four-year prison sentence in Canada and consented to extradition to the United States, where he faces charges of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.

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Justice Michelle Fuerst of the Canadian Superior Court of Justice called Vasiliev a "cyber-terrorist" and said his conduct was "planned, deliberate, and coldly calculated," reported CTV News.

Fuerst also ordered the hacker to pay back more than CA$860,000 in restitution to his Canadian victims. Police in Ontario arrested the dual Canadian and Russian national in October 2022. The incident marked the start of a run of misfortunes for the ransomware-as-a-service group that culminated in the February seizure of LockBit servers by an international police operation (see: LockBit Infrastructure Seized by US, UK Police).

The group has since reestablished a dark web leak site, but it is going through a crisis of credibility and an apparent brain drain as hackers gravitate to other groups (see: Ransomware Talent Surges to Akira After LockBit's Demise).

Vasiliev pleaded guilty in February to eight counts of cyber extortion, mischief and weapons charges against Canadian victims, CTV reported at the time.

A U.S. criminal complaint shows that police arrested him in his home's garage, where open web browser tabs on his laptop including a site named "LockBit Login." They also found screenshots of encrypted messages exchanged on the Tox platform between him and "LockBitSupp," the persona used by the group's leader and possibly two other individuals who constitute the group's senior leadership.

If convicted in U.S. federal court, Vasiliev faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gains from his ransomware activities, whichever is greater.

Vasiliev's family plans to move back to Russia, more than two decades after immigrating to Canada, CTV also reported.


About the Author

Mihir Bagwe

Mihir Bagwe

Principal Correspondent, Global News Desk, ISMG

Bagwe previously worked at CISO magazine, reporting the latest cybersecurity news and trends and interviewing cybersecurity subject matter experts.




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