Police in Kyiv, Ukraine, announced Friday they’ve detained an unnamed 32-year-old man accused of hacking U.S. companies.
The suspect is accused of stealing $6 million from accounts of U.S. financial institutions, interfering with computer systems, theft and money laundering.
The man’s identity and firms he’s accused of breaching are not public, but the arrest is the result of an operation from the country’s Cyber Police Department, Criminal Investigation Department of the National Police and the Metropolitan Criminal Investigation Department and the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine.
The FBI and the Financial Crime Investigation Service of Lithuania’s Ministry of the Interior also were involved in the investigation. Ukrainian police also said the “extradition of the U.S. detainee is being addressed.”
The FBI began investigating the matter in 2010, police said. It continued into this year, when Ukrainian authorities said they received a request for international legal assistance “in the search and arrest of a hacker,” according to the police statement.
“Police detained the attacker in one of the most expensive capital hotels, where he temporarily lived,” authorities added.
Ukraine has emerged as a hotbed of cyber activity, and international law enforcement, in recent years, in part because the country resides between the U.S. and Russia on the geopolitical spectrum.
Ukrainian police apprehended a man in Odessa in July in connection with a web hosting scheme that made it possible for hackers to launch attacks while avoiding detection. Meanwhile, suspected Russian hackers long have used Ukraine as a lab for hacking power grids, and the Kremlin has waged an information war that later yielded lessons on how to confuse American voters. And that’s all before President Trump cited a conspiracy involving CrowdStrike, the U.S. cybersecurity company, in his notorious call with Ukraine’s president.