Police said a Russian citizen schemed to introduce malware onto a U.S. company’s servers so he could extort money from the business.
According to the Justice Department, Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, 27, tried to recruit an employee of the company to load malware onto its servers.
He was arrested on August 22 in Los Angeles. According to the complaint, he conspired with associates to recruit an employee to load the malware onto the servers. Kriuchkov and his associates planned to steal confidential information from the network. They planned to threaten to make that information public unless the company paid a ransom demand.
Kriuchkov met with the employee multiple times to discuss the plan. He promised to pay the employee $1 million after the malware was loaded onto the servers. He also gave the employee a ‘burner’ phone for the purpose of contacting him.
Kriuchkov is in the country on a tourist visa. When the FBI contacted him, he drove to Los Angeles and attempted to purchase a ticket to leave the country.
Business extortion schemes have become more common in recent years. Perhaps the most high-profile attack was against Sony back in 2014.
Numerous embarrassing emails were released to the public after the company refused to pay up.