OPP Arrest Mikhail VASILIEV Following Three-Year Investigation into Ransomware Attacks

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Cybersecurity

ORILLIA, ON – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) has made an arrest after a comprehensive three-year investigation into illegal online activities related to the deployment of ransomware, affecting victims nationwide.

Dubbed “Project Archie,” the investigation, initiated in 2020, uncovered an Ontario resident offering ransomware as a service, following information provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

On October 26, 2022, OPP Cybercrime Investigations Team (CIT) executed a search warrant at a residence in the Town of Bradford, Ontario, seizing electronic devices. Subsequently, detailed forensic analysis was conducted on the seized evidence.

On December 14, 2023, investigators arrested and charged Mikhail VASILIEV, 34, of Oakville, with the following Criminal Code offences:

  • Extortion, section 346(1.1)(b) – three counts
  • Unauthorized use of a computer, section 342.1(1)(c) – three counts
  • Fail to comply with a release order, section 145(5)(a)

The accused, who had previous firearms charges, has been remanded into custody and is set to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Orillia on December 19, 2023.

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