Colonial pipeline attack: US officials believe Russia

This is a rare example of US-Russian cooperation against a major cybercrime group, following a direct appeal from President Joe Biden to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Cyber ​​attacks against Colonial Pipeline in May prompted the company to shut down its fuel delivery operations, leading to widespread shortages at gas stations along the East Coast.

Russia’s FSB intelligence agency said Friday that the official spoke to reporters that, at the behest of US officials, he had detained several people linked to Revil, a type of ransomware that has cost US firms millions of dollars.

The US and Russia do not have an extradition treaty. While Russian officials said those caught would be prosecuted, it was unclear to what extent.

First on CNN: US intelligence indicates Russia is preparing an operation to justify the invasion of Ukraine

The FSB said Russian authorities seized millions of dollars, raided the homes of 14 people and detained an unspecified number of people linked to the so-called Revil ransomware. US officials previously said Revil was used to harm a top US meat supplier in May and US software provider Cassia in July, the latter infecting 1,500 businesses worldwide.

The FSB’s announcement comes after a week of talks between the US, its European allies and Russia, which failed to reach a breakthrough on the thousands of troops Russia had deposited near the border with Ukraine.

“In our minds, this is not related to what is happening with Russia and Ukraine,” the senior administration official said.

But some cybersecurity analysts pointed to the timing of the FSB announcement, which comes as the US has threatened severe sanctions on Russia if it invades Ukraine.

“This is Russian ransomware diplomacy,” cybersecurity expert Dmitry Alperovich, president of the nonprofit Silverado Policy Accelerator, told CNN. “This is a signal to the United States: if you do not impose severe sanctions against us for the invasion of Ukraine, we will continue to cooperate with you in the ransomware investigation.”

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