Russian national pleads guilty to money laundering linked to Ryuk Ransomware operation

A Russian national pleaded guilty in the U.S. to money laundering charges linked to the Ryuk ransomware operation.

On February 7, 2023, Russian national Denis Mihaqlovic Dubnikov (30) pleaded guilty in the U.S. to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for the Ryuk ransomware operation.

Denis Mihaqlovic Dubnikov, 30, was arrested in Amsterdam in November 2021 and was extradited to the US in August 2022.

“According to the indictment, between at least August 2018 and August 2021, Dubnikov and his co-conspirators are alleged to have knowingly and intentionally laundered the proceeds of ransomware attacks on individuals and organizations throughout the United States and abroad.” reads the press release published by DoJ in August. “Specifically, Dubnikov and his accomplices laundered ransom payments extracted from victims of Ryuk ransomware attacks.”

The man received ransom payments from Ryuk operators and along with his co-conspirators used various financial transactions to conceal the ownership and the nature of the laundered proceeds.

According to the investigators, in July 2019, Dubnikov laundered more than $400,000 in Ryuk ransom proceeds. Individuals involved in the conspiracy laundered at least $70 million in ransom proceeds.

“Specifically, in July 2019, a United States-based company paid a 250 Bitcoin Ryuk ransom after a ransomware attack. On or about July 11, 2019, in Moscow, Russia, Dubnikov accepted 35 Bitcoin from a co-conspirator in exchange for approximately $400,000.” reads the press release. “The Bitcoin transferred to Dubnikov were directly sourced from the ransom paid by the American company. Dubnikov converted the Bitcoin to Tether and sent it to a second co-conspirator, who eventually exchanged it for Chinese Renminbi. Dubnikov’s co-conspirators laundered additional Bitcoin sourced from the original ransom payment. Dubnikov was compensated financially for his role in the scheme.”

Dubnikov will be sentenced on April 11, 2023.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Ryuk ransomware)

Pierluigi Paganini: Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer. Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US. Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines. Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.

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