Attorney General Garland Alleges Russian Military Intel Collaboration in Cyberattacks as DOJ Vows Support for Ukraine Amid Amin Timovich Stigal Indictment

Attorney General Garland Alleges Russian Military Intel Collaboration in Cyberattacks as DOJ Vows Support for Ukraine Amid Amin Timovich Stigal Indictment

In tandem with the indictment announcement, the U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program is offering a reward of up to $10 million for any information leading to the whereabouts or activities of Amin Timovich Stigal, a Russian citizen involved in cyberattacks.

Indictment Details

A federal grand jury in Maryland has charged 22-year-old Amin Timovich Stigal with conspiracy to hack into and destroy computer systems and data.

The targets initially included Ukrainian Government systems before expanding to systems in countries supporting Ukraine, including the United States.

Stigal is currently at large.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland stated, “The defendant allegedly conspired with Russian military intelligence just before Russia’s unjust invasion of Ukraine to launch cyberattacks.

The Justice Department stands with Ukraine against Russia’s aggression, holding accountable those involved in malicious cyber activities.”

Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen added, “Russia’s GRU has repeatedly used cyber warfare for indiscriminate destruction and intimidation.

We are committed to disrupting such behavior that targets U.S. interests and victims.”

FBI’s Response

FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate emphasized, “Stigal allegedly attempted to assist the Russian military invasion using malware.

This indictment underscores the FBI’s resolve to combat cyber threats globally, working closely with international partners.”

Legal Consequences

U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron warned, “Malicious cyber intrusions like those alleged here pose a threat to national security.

We will use every tool available to disrupt and pursue these cybercriminals.”

Special Agent in Charge William J. DelBagno of the FBI Baltimore Field Office affirmed, “This indictment reflects our commitment to pursue justice against cyber threats worldwide.

Adversaries targeting our allies will face consequences.”

Cyberattack Details

According to court documents, Stigal and Russian military intelligence planned to deploy malware named WhisperGate to Ukrainian government systems before the invasion, disguising it as ransomware.

The attacks aimed to destroy data and sow fear among Ukrainians.

In January 2022, Ukrainian government networks were compromised, with data stolen and websites defaced.

The Conspirators also targeted a Central European country supporting Ukraine’s transportation infrastructure in August 2022.

Legal Proceedings

If convicted, Stigal faces a maximum of five years in prison.

The FBI Baltimore Field Office is leading the investigation, with prosecution handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the District of Maryland and support from the National Security Cyber Section.

An indictment is an accusation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

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