U.S. Court Sentenced Canadian NetWalker Ransomware Hacker To 20 Years Prison-Term!

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Sébastien Vachon-Desjardins, 35, a former IT specialist for Public Services and Procurement Canada, has been sentenced to a 20-year prison term in the U.S. for his ransomware hacking activities. The federal court judge called it “the worst case he’s ever seen.” Vachon-Desjardins was one of the most prolific affiliates of NetWalker, a Russian-speaking ransomware criminal gang that operated at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following his arrest in January 2021 in Canada, law enforcement agents searched Vachon-Desjardins’ home and recovered a present-day value of $28 million in bitcoins and $500,000 in cash. He was extradited to the U.S. in March 2022. Canadian ransomware hacker sentenced to 20 years in U.S. prison

Vachon-Desjardins pleaded guilty to four charges, including computer fraud and transmitting a demand in relation to damaging a protected computer in the U.S. The group of affiliates hacked into computer systems of health districts, companies, and schools and demanded ransom payments to return the encrypted data. If demands were not met, their data would be posted on the Netwalker blog hosted on the dark web.

Netwalker targeted as many as 400 victims in more than 30 countries and collected $40 million in ransom payments, according to U.S. attorney Carlton Gammons, who called the victimization “staggering.”


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