A Nigerian-born Microsoft network engineer, Raymond Uadiale, is facing FBI charges in Florida for helping launder cash obtained from victims of the Reventon ransomware.
Uadiale, 41, worked for Vole in Seattle since 2014, according to his LinkedIn page.
Florida investigators say that between October 2012 and March 2013, Uadiale worked with a UK citizen going online by the handle K!NG.
K!NG would distribute and infect victims with the Reveton ransomware, while Uadiale would collect payments and send the cash to K!NG, in the UK.
Uadiale is accused of sending money from the US to the UK.
The Reveton ransomware is one of the first screen-locking ransomware strains.
Reveton operators asked victims to buy GreenDot MoneyPak vouchers, take the code on the voucher and enter it in the Reveton screen locker.
After a computer was infected with Reveton ransomware, the screen would lock and a fake message purportedly from the FBI or other law enforcement agency would claim the user had violated federal law; viewing and/or distributing porn was often cited as the law which was violated.
The user was informed that a fine had to be paid to unlock their PC.
The FBI regarded Reveton ransomware as “new” back in August 2012.
The use of the FBI logo was so popular with this ransomware that some people referred to it as FBI ransomware.
K!NG would deposit victims’ GreenDot MoneyPak payments into debit cards Uadiale acquired under the fake name of Mike Roland.
Uadiale allegedly laundered over $130,000
Uadiale would later convert these funds into the Liberty Reserve digital currency and send the proceeds to his UK partner, keeping 30 per cent of the funds, part of his cut.
If found guilty on all charges, Uadiale risks a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $500,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
Uadiale has been set free on a $100,000 bond.