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Alleged Russian-Canadian hacker with Simcoe County ties charged while out on bail


An alleged Russian-Canadian hacker with ties to Simcoe County is facing new charges in connection to a three-year-long global ransomware investigation.

Project Archie is an investigation that started in 2020 when the FBI tipped off the OPP's Cybercrime Investigations Team about an Ontarian offering ransomware as a service. Police say there are multiple victims from across Canada. 

Police seized multiple electronic devices while executing a search warrant at a Bradford home in October 2022.

34-year-old Mikhail Vasiliev of Oakville was arrested the following month for his alleged role in the LockBit global ransomware scheme.

According to U.S. justice officials, LockBit, the group that Vasiliev is alleged to have been part of, has been under investigation for three years for making at least $100 million in ransom demands and taking tens of millions of dollars in ransom payments from at least 1,000 cyber attacks on victims in the U.S. and around the world.

Vasiliev was released on bail in January of this year, but on Thursday, he was taken into custody and is facing numerous charges, including multiple counts of extortion.

Vasiliev has also been charged with firearms offences in the past.

He is due to appear in court in Orillia on Dec. 19. and has a hearing for extradition to the U.S. in February. 

None of these allegations have been tested in court. 

With files from CTV's Mike Arsalides and Christian D'Avino Top Stories

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