Recently, a court in the Netherlands announced a ruling on two cybercriminals and convicted them for the creation and distribution of an infamous ransomware known as CoinVault of the mid-2010s. The court hearing took place on July 20, 2018. The punishment for the cybercrime was a community service of 240 hours. Moreover, the court also ordered the criminals to pay compensation to a few of the victims. In the Dutch court system, 240 hours is the extreme limit of community service.
Details of the Cybercrime
According to ransomware removal both the convicts are biologically related and are found to be brothers. The names of the brothers are Dennis and Melvin van den B. Both are fairly young while Melvin is aged 25, Dennis is 21 years old. They were arrested together in 2015 with allegations over the development of CoinVault as well as another ransomware called Bitcryptor.
The prosecutor requested the court to issue a prison sentence of 3 months in addition to 9 months of community service. But the court offered relaxation in the punishment due to the cybercriminals’ coordination with law enforcement agencies through which many victims were able to get access to their files back. Moreover, the fact that they have not been involved in any other crimes also weighed considerably.
The brothers were charged with being part of a ransomware campaign and blackmailing more than 1,000 users. Though, some ransomware removal analysts in the industry prove the victim count to be higher with a prominent security company Kaspersky Labs estimating it to be almost 14,000.
Dutch police managed to nab the brothers after ransomware removal researchers were able to analyze the code of the ransomware and able to extract the first name. Furthermore, the IP address of the brothers was also exposed which helped the police to track them.