A Russian national pleaded guilty in federal court for conspiring to travel to the United States to recruit an employee of a Nevada company into a scheme to introduce malicious software into the company’s computer network.
According to court documents and admissions made in court, from July 15, 2020, to Aug. 22, 2020, Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, 27, conspired with others to recruit an employee of a large U.S. company to transmit malware provided by the conspirators into the company’s computer network. Once the malware was installed, Kriuchkov and his co-conspirators would use it to exfiltrate data from the company’s computer network and then extort the company by threatening to disclose the data.
As part of the conspiracy, Kriuchkov traveled from Russia to California through New York. On numerous occasions between Aug. 1, 2020, and Aug. 21, 2020, Kriuchkov traveled from California to Nevada in an attempt to entice the employee to participate in this hacking scheme, offering to pay the employee with Bitcoin if the employee transmitted the malware. After meeting with Kriuchkov, the employee reported his conduct to the victim company, which promptly contacted the FBI. The FBI then thwarted the scheme. (Source: U.S. Department of Justice)