French police detain suspect who laundered €19 million in ransomware payments
French authorities have arrested a suspect this week for allegedly laundering more than €19 million (~$21.4 million) in ransomware payments.
Authorities have not released the suspect's name, who was only identified as a male from the Vaucluse department in southeast France, nor the name of the ransomware group with whom he collaborated.
The arrest this week comes as law enforcement agencies across the world have begun collaborating and cracking down on ransomware operations after years of repeated attacks, some of which have crippled government agencies and private sector companies time and time again.
Among the crackdowns against ransomware groups this year, the list includes:
- February - The arrest of Egregor/Maze members in Ukraine.
- March - The arrest of a GandCrab affiliate in South Korea.
- June - The arrest of a group of Ukrainian money launderers who worked with the Clop gang.
- September - Sanctions against Suex, a Russian crypto-exchange used to process ransomware payments.
- October - The arrest of 12 suspects behind the LockerGoga ransomware.
- October - The arrest of two ransomware operators in Ukraine.
- November - Sanctions against Chatex, a crypto-exchange used to process ransomware payments.
- November - Two REvil affiliates arrested in Romania.
- November - The arrest of a GandCrab affiliate in Kuwait.
- November - The arrest of a REvil affiliate in Ukraine for the Kaseya attack.
- November - The indictment of a REvil affiliate based in Russia for the 2019 ransomware attack against Texas municipalities.
- November - The arrest of a crypto-exchange exec who helped the Ryuk gang launder their profits.
- December - The arrest of a Canadian citizen for the attack against an Alaskan healthcare provider.
- December - The arrest of a ransomware affiliate in Romania.
Catalin Cimpanu is a cybersecurity reporter for The Record. He previously worked at ZDNet and Bleeping Computer, where he became a well-known name in the industry for his constant scoops on new vulnerabilities, cyberattacks, and law enforcement actions against hackers.