Estonian man sentenced to prison for role in cyber intrusions, ransomware attacks

Written by
Mar 25, 2022 | CYBERSCOOP

An Estonian man was sentenced to 66 months in federal prison Friday for participating in ransomware attacks which caused more than $53 million in losses, federal prosecutors said.

Maksim Berezan, 37, was convicted of facilitating computer intrusions, fraudulently obtaining goods and funds and monetizing stolen financial account information.

In addition to his prison sentence, Berezan has been ordered to pay more than $36 million in restitution, according to prosecutors.

Investigators found evidence of Berezan’s ties to ransomware activity when they searched his electronic devices. Prosecutors say they determined Berezan participated in at least 13 ransomware attacks, yielding him about $11 million in cryptocurrency. Seven of Berezan’s victims were based in the U.S.

Recent tallies suggest ransomware hackers are growing more demanding and receiving bigger payouts, even as victims reporting ransomware crimes to the FBI account for a relatively low percentage of complaints compared to other cybercrimes.

Berezan used the profits to buy two Porsches, a Ducati motorcycle and jewelry, prosecutors said. Police also found more than $200,000 and electronic devices storing bitcoin worth about $1.7 million, prosecutors said.

Berezan was extradited to the U.S. from Latvia, where he was arrested.

Read More: