ccording to a new press statement from the Department of Justice (DOJ), 35-year-old Sebastian Vachon-Desjardins was convicted to 20 years in prison for his contribution to the NetWalker ransomware attacks and was also instructed to surrender $21.5 million in the leading digital asset.
Authorities believe Vachon-Desjardins was the kingpin behind the NetWalker hacks, which directed victims all over the globe by encrypting and extracting data from Windows-based systems and demanding a BTC ransom in return for data decryption.
Businesses, municipalities, government agencies, and educational institutions such as colleges, universities, and educational agencies were the malicious attacker's victims.
The hacker aimed directly at medical providers during the Covid-19 pandemic to extort victims. According to the Justice Department's Criminal Division's Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr.,
"The defendant identified and targeted high-value ransomware victims, profiting from the victim's data encryption and theft. Today's sentence illustrates that ransomware players will face serious consequences for their actions, and it exemplifies the Department's ongoing devotion to pursuing actors involved in ransomware schemes."
Officials sought Vachon-Desjardins' home in January 2021 and seized approximately $544,000 and 719 BTC, worth roughly $14.5 million at the time of writing.
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