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.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.