Once in a blue moon justice is served in the ransomware sphere and a peddler of ransomware is arrested. Sadly, though, such arrests are few and far between, which means that the vast majority of ransomware victims never see their cases concluded with justice. Last month, however, one of the world’s most notorious GandCrab ransomware hackers was arrested in Belarus, giving renewed hope that justice actually can discover the whereabouts of these heinous criminals. What is GandCrab ransomware, and why was the arrest of this criminal so important?
GandCrab is a ransomware that is peddled on the darknet to “career” cybercriminals. It’s basically a turn-key opportunity for criminals to sign-up and begin targeting victims. When a victim agrees to pay the required ransom (using bitcoin), the hacker keeps 70% of the payout, with the remaining 30% going to GandCrab. There’s no back-end set-up for the hacker. Everything is ready to go and made super easy by GandCrab. Only, in the case of the Belarussian idiot mentioned above, his “easy” days are long over, as he’s now in the custody of Belarussian law enforcement. And if you know anything about Belarus, which is the last dictatorship in Europe, you’ll understand why that is not a “pleasant” situation to be in as an arrested criminal.
Who is the hacker?
The hacker that was arrested was a 31-year-old man. Besides that, not much more is known. However, we do know that he made enough money in his ransomware pursuits that he didn’t need to hold a full-time job.
How big is the treasure-chest of GandCrab?
It’s freakin’ huge (at least according to their own estimates). In 2019, the operators of GandCrab bragged that it had yielded a whopping $2 billion. And although they closed shop in 2019, the creators of GandCrab have only continued their nasty work, just under a new name.
So what should you do?
Whatever you do, stay away from the DarkWeb and its “business” offers to get involved as a malware peddler. No matter how much money you can supposedly make from being involved with ransomware, NEVER do it. Not only is it illegal and unethical, but it will also inevitably lead to a life behind bars and the destruction of your happiness. Also, be sure to protect yourself from hackers! There is an abundance of IT protection solutions available, but might I suggest taking a look at InfoGuard ID made available by Melaleuca? I also recommend Lifelock.
Stay safe! Stay protected!