Police have reportedly arrested a Russian man for an attempt to recruit an employee in Nevada to plant malware on a Company’s network. In return, he promised him up to $1 million in cash and Bitcoin.
The Offstage Attacker Was Reportedly Part Of A Larger Organisation
As per the published court documents, Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov has allegedly offered a Nevada company’s employee the sum of $1 million, portioned in cash and Bitcoin. The plot was simple – the employee had to install malware onto a colleague’s computer. However, he did the opposite, calling the FBI and reporting the Russian man.
The US Department of Justice has reportedly charged Kriuchkov with conspiracy, aimed at damaging a protected computer system. According to the complaint, the 27-year-old Russian told his potential recruit that he was part of a larger active organization.
During the investigation, the authorities tracked Kriuchkov’s whereabouts. They’ve also eavesdropped his communications, thus collecting some additional evidence against him, before the arrest in Los Angeles on Saturday.
The Attacker Approached The Recruit Via Whatsapp, Offered A BTC Prepay
As per the court report, Kriuchkov contacted his perspective recruit in mid-July via Whatsapp and they’ve reportedly had a mutual acquaintance. Initially, the Russian tried to arrange a meeting Nevada. Twelve days later, Kriuchkov entered the US and met the employee a few times in August. He paid for dinners and other entertainments.
According to the authorities, during their meetings, Kriuchkov told the employee, that after the malware was on his company’s network, it would provide access to information to his Russian colleagues. The second step of the plan was blackmailing the company of disclosing their data, in case a ransom isn’t paid.
The initial sum, which Kriuchkov offered the employee was $500,000, which would jump to $1 million after the malware transmitted. An upfront payment of 1 BTC and assistance in creating a Bitcoin wallet was also promised.
On their last meeting on August 21, Kriuchkov said that the plan had been delayed, and he was heading out of the US. On the next day, law enforcement agents arrested him.
If found guilty, Kriuchkov is facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.