The U.S. and Britain have levied sanctions against seven leading members of the Russian hacking gang “Trickbot,” officials from both nations said Thursday.
Trickbot’s software is capable of stealing financial data and dropping ransomware. “[D]uring the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Trickbot targeted hospitals and healthcare centers, launching a wave of ransomware attacks against hospitals across the United States,” according to the U.S. Treasury.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the United States and Britain were “committed to using all available authorities to defend against cyber threats.”
His British counterpart, Foreign Minister James Cleverly said, “By sanctioning these cyber criminals, we are sending a clear signal to them and others involved in ransomware that they will be held to account.”
Sanctions such as these tend to be largely symbolic given that Russia is already heavily sanctioned. Further, cybercriminals based in Russia tend to steer clear of the United States or Britain. However, intelligence analyst at Recorded Future Allan Liksa said the sanctions still made it harder for hackers to launder their money.