“He offered $ 1 million for installing malware”: a Russian was arrested in the United States on charges of preparing a cybercrime

In Los Angeles, Russian citizen Yegor Kryuchkov was arrested, the US Department of Justice reported. The Russian citizen was charged with “conspiracy to intentionally harm a protected computer.” The Russian embassy said that they were aware of what happened. The diplomats will soon contact the Russian to clarify the circumstances and provide the necessary consular and legal assistance, the diplomatic missions added.

Russian citizen Yegor Kryuchkov was arrested in the United States on charges of conspiracy to inject malware into the computer network of a Nevada company. This is stated in a statement by the US Department of Justice. According to the department, the Russian planned to extract the necessary data for the purpose of subsequent blackmail.

On August 22, the Russian was detained in Los Angeles. He appeared before the District Court for the Central District of California

“27-year-old Russian citizen Yegor Igorevich Kryuchkov has been charged on one count – of conspiracy to intentionally harm a protected computer,” the US Department of Justice said in a statement.

According to the US department, Kryuchkov entered the United States on a tourist visa. It is alleged that the Russian contacted and met many times with an employee of a certain company (the name was not specified), to whom he promised to pay $ 1 million for installing the malware.

“As follows from the materials of the lawsuit and the statements made in court, from about July 15, 2020 to August 22, 2020, Kryuchkov entered into an agreement with accomplices in order to attract a company employee to introduce malicious programs into the company’s computer network, that is, programs intended to harm the computer system or perform other undesirable actions in it. The malware is supposed to give Kryuchkov and his associates access to the company’s system. After the introduction of the malicious program, Kryuchkov and his accomplices would extract data from the company’s computer network, after which they would threaten to release the information if the company did not pay them a ransom, ”the US Department of Justice said.

According to the Russian Embassy in Washington, diplomats will contact the detainee shortly.

“The embassy is aware of what happened. In the near future we will contact the Russian to clarify the essence of the problem. We will provide him with the necessary consular and legal assistance, ”RIA Novosti quotes a representative of the diplomatic mission.

The building of the Russian embassy in Washington globallookpress.com © Ting Shen

Meanwhile, in the United States, the trial continues against another Russian, detained by the American authorities, Yevgeny Nikulin. On July 11, a jury found him guilty on all nine charges against him. The announcement of the verdict is scheduled for September 29, 2020 in San Francisco. A citizen of the Russian Federation faces tens of years in prison and a fine of up to $ 1 million.

As follows from the database of the federal court for the Northern District of California, the lawyers of the Russian, Adam Gasner and Valery Nechai, insist that all the points on which the Russian was found guilty “are not supported by concrete evidence.”

“The court, on the basis of the evidence presented at the trial, should close this case and make a decision to acquit Nikulin, or to appoint a new trial,” the lawyers’ petition says.

Recall that Yevgeny Nikulin was detained in Prague on October 5, 2016 on suspicion of organizing cyber attacks on the websites of American companies in 2012. In March 2018, the Czech authorities extradited him to the American side. At the same time, Prague did not inform either Nikulin’s lawyers or Russian diplomatic representatives about this. Subsequently, Washington notified Moscow of the extradition of the Russian citizen .

As Russian Ambassador to the Czech Republic Alexander Zmeevsky noted, Moscow assesses Prague’s decision as “a deliberate, politically motivated step aimed at undermining the constructive basis of bilateral cooperation with Russia.”

We are disappointed that the Czech side, making this decision, was guided not by legal norms, but by the desire to once again demonstrate the“ allied loyalty, ”which has recently become an absolute priority,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Czech President Milos Zeman also supported Moscow’s position. According to him, if the Russian side demanded his extradition, then it would be natural to hand him over to his homeland. In addition, he stressed that the officials who approved Nikulin’s extradition did not have the appropriate powers.

Subsequently, the Czech Constitutional Court upheld the complaint about the illegal extradition of the Russian citizen Nikulin to the United States.

“The former Minister of Justice of the Czech Republic Robert Pelikan, who made the decision to extradite the Russian citizen to the United States, violated the rights of Yevgeny Nikulin,” said the decision of the judge of the Czech Constitutional Court, Radovan Sukhanek.