Russian national Vladimir Dunaev was extradited from the Republic of North Korea to the Northern District of Ohio to face charges for his alleged role in a transnational, cybercriminal organization. Dunaev was allegedly part of a group that deployed a computer banking trojan and ransomware malware known as Trickbot. According to the indictment, Dunaev worked as a developer for the Trickbot group from November 2015 to April 2020. In that time, the group stole money, confidential information, and damaged computer systems of unsuspecting victims, financial institutions, school districts, government entities, and private businesses. Trickbot was originally created to steal online banking login information and capture other personal information such as credit card numbers, emails, dates of birth, social security numbers and addresses from infected computers through key stroke logging and the use of web injects. Trickbot was then modified to facilitate the installation and use of ransomware. Dunaev was extradited on 20 October and is being charged with conspiracy to commit computer fraud and aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and multiple accounts of wire fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Dunaev faces up to 60 years of imprisonment.
This case is part of the Department of Justice’s Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task force and shows the determination of the FBI and the Department of Justice to bring international cybercriminals to justice. Deputy Director Paul Abbate of the FBI said, “The FBI is determined to utilize our unique tools and capabilities to disrupt transnational cybercriminal organizations, such as the group that developed and delivered Trickbot, and remains committed to imposing risk and consequence upon these criminals.” This is not the first success story from US law enforcement, earlier this year the Justice Department announced the arrest of Alla Witte, a Latvian national charged for her role in the Trickbot group. US law enforcement continues to collaborate with global allies to aggressively seek out cyber criminals and bring them to justice.