Russian national Egor Kriuchkov made his first appearance in federal court yesterday for his role in a conspiracy to recruit an employee from a Nevada-based company and convince that person to insert malware into the corporate network so attackers could extract data and extort the firm.
The complaint alleges that between July 14, 2020, and Aug. 22, 2020, Kriuchkov conspired with associates to recruit an employee to infect the company's network with malware. While the report does not specify the target company, it does note this malware would have given the attackers access to the company's system. Following the infection, they would steal data from the network and threaten to publish it unless the organization paid their demanded ransom.
Kriuchkov entered the US on a Russian passport and tourist visa, meeting with the employee several times to discuss the plan. He allegedly promised to pay the employee $1 million after they infected the network with malware.
The defendant was arrested on Aug. 22 and charged with one count of conspiracy to intentionally cause damage to a protected computer. He faces a statutory maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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