Estonian Tied to 13 Ransomware Attacks Gets 66 Months in Prison
An Estonian man named Maksim Berezan was sentenced to more than five years in US prison for his participation in at least 13 serious ransomware attacks that resulted in approximately $53 million in losses. US prosecutors stated that Berezan enjoyed a lengthy career of being able to access hacked bank accounts across the world to fund a lavish lifestyle. Berezan is 37 and was arrested two years ago in Latvia. US authorities claimed that Berezan was a member of DirectConnection, a Russian cybercriminal forum that was around until 2015.
Berezan reportedly specialized in cashouts and drops, the former of which refers to using stolen payment card data to make fraudulent purchases or withdraw money from accounts. A drop is when a threat actor creates a location in which individuals are able to securely receive and forwards funds obtains through fraudulent means. Drops typically make it harder for law enforcement to trace fraudulent transactions. Latvian police searched Berezan’s resident under guidance from US authorities back in 2020, finding highly expensive cars, jewelry, thousands in cash, and $1.7 in bitcoin. Berezan was extradited to the US in 2020.