DOJ Charges Latvian National for Role in 'Trickbot' Ransomware Scam

The "Trickbot Group" told victims they would need to purchase special software through a bitcoin address to decrypt their files.

AccessTimeIconJun 4, 2021 at 9:54 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:06 p.m. UTC

The U.S. Department of Justice today charged a Latvian national for her alleged role in an international cybercrime organization that created and deployed a suite of computer banking malware known as "Trickbot" to attempt to defraud consumers, businesses and other organizations.

  • The DoJ charged Alla Witte (aka Max), 55, with 19 counts of a 47-count indictment, accusing her of participating in the “Trickbot Group,” which operates in Russia, Belarus, the Ukraine and Suriname, the small country on South America’s northeast coast.
  • The ransomware notified victims their computers were encrypted and they would have to buy special software through a bitcoin address that the "Trickbot Group" controlled to decrypt their files.
  • Witte allegedly provided code to the "Trickbot Group" that tracked authorized users of the malware and developed tools and protocols to store stolen login credentials from the users.
  • The group targeted computers belonging to individuals and organizations in northern Ohio, where the charges were filed in U.S. District Court, and elsewhere in the U.S.
  • The FBI, which conducted the investigation, arrested Witte in Miami on Feb. 6.
  • “'Trickbot' infected millions of victim computers worldwide and was used to harvest banking credentials and deliver ransomware,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.