Russian hacker, Maksim Yakubets said to be behind Garmin WastedLocker ransomware infection


Smartwatch maker Garmin asked to pay $10 Million ransom for WastedLocker decryption key, Russian/Ukrainian hacker, Maksim Yakubets said to be behind the hack

On 24th July, we had reported how the smartwatch, GPS, and other wearables maker, Garmin was infected with WastedLocker ransomware. After the infection, the wearables maker had denied any ransomware attack but pretty soon all connected services like Garmin Express, Garmin Connect mobile, Garmin Launch, and the Garmin website went offline.

Garmin was infected by WastedLocker ransomware which is created by the Evil Corp hacking group and is code is believed to be written by Maksim Yakubets.

Maksim Viktorovich Yakubets aka aqua is a 33-year-old Russian/Ukrainian hacker who has previously authored the dreaded Bugat_(Trojan_horse) and Zeus malware in collaboration with the Jabber Zeus Crew. The United States law enforcement agency, FBI has already put a $5 million bounty for his arrest.

Yakubets is a known hacker with a trail of massive attacks against American companies. Yakubets lives in Russia and owns a Lamborghini Huracan with a custom number plate that reads ‘Thief,’ and has a tiger for a pet. Yakubets runs Evil Corp like a corporate entity that has stolen roughly $100 million from victims.

In this instance, Yakubets has demanded a ransom of $10 million from Garmin for decrypting their network. Reports indicate that Garmin said no to the hacking group. Garmin is now using its own backup to bring all the services back to normal.

Even if Garmin decided to pay the ransom to Evil Corp, it couldn’t because the U.S. laws prevent it from doing so. Evil Corp was placed in the banned entities list by the US Treasury Department last year. The sanctions make it illegal for U.S. based companies to enter into any deal with Evil Corp. So legally, Garmin wasn’t allowed to make any payment to the group.

At the time of writing this article, Garmin’s services are still down. The Garmin stock was hammered yesterday on Nasdaq after the news of ransomware attack broke but now has recovered and is trading at $99.5 a pop.


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