Russian national pleads guilty in Trickbot malware case

A Russian national pleaded guilty today to his role in developing and deploying the malicious software known as Trickbot, which was used to launch cyberattacks against American hospitals and other businesses, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

In 2020, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said cybercriminals were using Trickbot against healthcare providers and public health agencies as the coronavirus pandemic reached new heights.

Developers made several enhancements to Trickbot in 2019.

“Dunaev developed browser modifications and malicious tools that aided in credential harvesting and data mining from infected computers, facilitated and enhanced the remote access used by Trickbot actors, and created a program code to prevent the Trickbot malware from being detected by legitimate security software,” DOJ said in a statement November 30.

Trickbot and Conti cybercriminals caught, charged and sentenced

In February and September, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued financial sanctions against multiple suspected Trickbot members, the DOJ noted.

In June, Alla Witte, who was a Trickbot malware developer and Latvian national, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit computer fraud and was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison, the agency added.

In September, DOJ charged nine individuals who used Trickbot and Conti in cyberattacks that amassed 900 victims worldwide – including hospitals, healthcare providers and their patients. 

“Dunaev’s guilty plea and our collaboration with South Korea that made his extradition possible are a prime example of what we can accomplish together with our foreign partners,” Nicole Argentieri, acting assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s Criminal Division, said in the statement.

“Cybercriminals should know that countries around the world stand ready to bring them to justice and hold them accountable for their crimes.”

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.


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