Hacker Forfeits $21,849,087 Worth of Bitcoin to Feds, Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

A Canadian hacker is forfeiting hundreds of thousands of {dollars} price of Bitcoin (BTC) to the U.S. authorities whereas going through a multi-decade jail sentence.

According to a brand new press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ), 35-year-old Sebastian Vachon-Desjardins has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for his function in the NetWalker ransomware assaults and in addition ordered to relinquish $21.5 million price of the main digital asset.

Authorities allege that Vachon-Desjardins was the mastermind behind the NetWalker hacks, which focused victims all around the world by encrypting and exfiltrating data from Windows-based programs and demanding a ransom of BTC in trade for the decryption of the information.

Among the unhealthy actor’s victims had been firms, municipalities, regulation enforcement businesses, and schooling suppliers resembling faculties, universities and faculty districts.

The hacker additionally particularly focused healthcare suppliers through the Covid-19 pandemic to take benefit of the troubling instances to extort victims, in accordance to the press launch.

As said by Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division,

“The defendant recognized and attacked high-value ransomware victims and profited from the chaos attributable to encrypting and stealing the victims’ information.

Today’s sentence demonstrates that ransomware actors will face important penalties for his or her crimes and exemplifies the Department’s steadfast dedication to pursuing actors who take part in ransomware schemes.”

At the time of his arrest in January 2021, authorities searched Vachon-Desjardins residence and seized roughly $544,000 and 719 BTC, price about $14.5 million at time of writing.

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Featured Image: Shutterstock/Ahmad Kurnia Sandy


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