The US Department of Justice has indicted a Latvian woman for her role in the alleged development of the Trickbot malware, which was responsible for infecting millions of computers, targeting schools, hospitals, utilities and governments, said the agency. in a press release.
The DOJ alleges that Alla Witte was part of a criminal organization known as the Trickbot Group that operated in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Suriname. She allegedly helped develop the malware that was used to enable ransomware claims and payments. Victims would receive a notice that their computers were encrypted, the DOJ said, and had to purchase special software through a bitcoin address linked to the Trickbot group to have their files decrypted.
According to the DOJ, the Trickbot malware was designed to capture online banking login credentials in order to access other personal information, including credit card numbers, emails, passwords, numbers. social security and addresses. The group allegedly used stolen personal information “to access online bank accounts, perform unauthorized electronic fund transfers and launder money through US and foreign recipient accounts,” the DOJ said.
Federal law enforcement agencies warned hospitals and healthcare providers last October of a credible ransomware threat from attackers using Trickbot to deploy ransomware such as Ryuk and Conti.
Witte was arrested on February 6 in Miami. She is charged with 19 counts, including conspiracy to commit computer fraud and aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit electronic and bank fraud affecting a financial institution, identity theft aggravated and a conspiracy to commit money laundering.