20 years in jail in the United States for a Quebec hacker


A Quebec hacker and drug trafficker who extorted nearly $28 million through ransomware has been sentenced to serve 20 years in prison in Florida for his crimes.

• Read also: Canadian hacker extradited to US for role in lucrative ransomware attacks

“You have one of the worst cases I have ever seen,” Judge William Jung told Sébastien Vachon-Desjardins, according to the daily. Tampa Bay Times tuesday.

The magistrate even compared him to Jesse James, a renowned thief who plagued the United States in the 19e century.

The 34-year-old Quebecer was arrested in January 2021 because he had extracted major sums between April and December 2020, thanks to Netwalker malware.

The authorities had seized 719 bitcoins from his Gatineau residence, which were then worth more than US$28 million, the equivalent today of some CAN$38 million.


The New York firm Chainanalysis, which helped the FBI catch him by studying his bitcoin transactions, estimated that the criminal had contributed to at least 91 attacks with Netwalker.

Among the victims were businesses, schools, and especially health organizations around the world in the midst of the COVID crisis, which suffered losses of approximately US$40 million.

In total, more than 400 entities would have been affected in 30 countries, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

In 2015, this computer technician and former federal government employee was also sentenced to 42 months in prison for drug trafficking.

According to a judgment on his provisional release, his residence was used as a cache, reported The newspaper in January 2021.


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