FBI Investigates a BTC Ransomware Scheme

Endy Callahan

The FBI officials along with Tesla are currently collaborating to identify and analyze the recent crime. Authorities have finally identified one of the participants of a criminal group. As the latest news reports, the hackers were involved in a ransomware attack. Their main target was Tesla, one of the most famous electric car producers.

A Russian resident as well as his supporters came close enough of performing a serious attack against the famous electric car manufacturer. However, the group of conspirators did not know that their target victim had managed to report them to the officials before they realized it. A few days ago, the FBI decided to unseal a criminal claim against an attacker in a ransomware scheme against the carmaker.

Last weekend, the authorities arrested Pavel Kriuchkov. The man is originally from Russia and was then residing in Los Angeles. As officials state, he had spent plenty of time in the country trying to hire a staffer from the company and involve him in a ‘special’ project. There was a very lucrative offer – the incentive was as big as five hundred thousand USD. More than that, the sum was increased up to one million later on. The staffer was supposed to receive some part of the entire payment via his e-wallet. To perform that, the group had to install and use a Tor browser since their intention was to remain unidentified.

Scheme Was Not Successful

In return for the incentive, the co-conspirator had to help the attackers install a targeted malware that the group would use against the car producer. The plot consisted of two stages. On top, it was a well-thought-out plan that included attacks over the firm’s data that is more sensitive. As officials announce, the scheme was to keep the company under threat of letting the information be available to the public. Also, the criminals hoped to receive around four million USD. Right after the first talks with the attackers, the staffer warned the company’s executives who then contacted and reported the case to the FBI agents.

After some time, there were another few meetings – these events were tapped by the police. Intelligence about the mentioned scheme was collected. Also, authorities hatched some other important preparations for the attack. Professionals announce that one of the criminals was a hacker who mainly specialized in encryption. He also worked for a state financial institution in Russia. No doubt, Kriuchkov’s knowledge of technical aspects allowed him to think of an attack plan. Additionally, he received two hundred and fifty thousand USD for the efforts he made while recruiting people.

While the criminals were working on the scheme, there were a few changes made to the plan. At the moment, Kriuchkov is in detention pending trial. The case seems serious enough and this is one of the reasons why such famous figures as Elon Musk found it necessary to mention the fact on their public accounts.

It’s the fact that huge corporations have always been targets for cybercriminals. Newly formed hacking groups appear on a regular basis – they consist of highly qualified people who have plenty of experience and skills dealing with modern technologies and software. They know nuances and can easily find the weakest links in the strongest systems. They know what they should do to remain unknown. Luckily, police officers and agents stay alert and make efforts to identify, detect, and arrest cyber criminals.