NetWalker ransomware gang affiliate pleads guilty, slapped with 7-year sentence

Netwalker ransomware gang affiliate Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins was sentenced to seven years in prison for his involvement with the group after pleading guilty in an Ontario court on January 31.

Court documents published on February 1 revealed that Vachon-Desjardins pleaded guilty to five charges related to “theft of computer data, extortion, the payment of cryptocurrency ransoms, and participating in the activities of a criminal organization.”

In addition to the seven year sentence, Vachon-Desjardins agreed to partial restitution, forfeiture of assets seized, and a DNA order. The court documents say Vachon-Desjardins was implicated in 17 ransomware attacks that caused at least $2.8 million in damages in Canada. 

“In August 2020, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (“RCMP”) received information from the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) in relation to a NetWalker ransomware affiliate operating in Gatineau Quebec. The FBI advised the RCMP that their suspect was responsible for ransomware attacks in several countries, and he was suspected to have received over $15,000,000.00 USD in ransom payments,” Ontario court judge G. Paul Renwick wrote, adding that he was told that the data seized from Vachon-Desjardins’s would fill an entire hockey arena if printed.

“Eventually, based on internet protocol addresses, data gleaned from US investigations into various Apple,

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