Ukrainian Man Pleads Guilty in Cyberattack That Crippled Major US Hospital


A Ukrainian man has pleaded guilty to involvement in two separate malware schemes including a cyberattack at the University of Vermont Medical Center in 2020 that temporarily shut down some of its vital services and cost it tens of millions of dollars, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Vyacheslav Igorevich Penchukov, also known as Vyacheslav Igoravich Andreev, 37, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Nebraska to one count of conspiracy to break U.S. anti-racketeering law and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Records in the case are sealed, so the name of Penchukov’s lawyer was not immediately known.

Penchukov was accused of helping lead a racketeering enterprise and conspiracy that infected thousands of business computers with malicious software starting in May 2009, and later leading a conspiracy that infected computers with new malware from at least November 2018 through February 2021, according to federal prosecutors.

Trump Goes to War with Fox News Anchor After Alina Habba Interview: 'So Naive'

That allowed other suspicious software, like ransonware, to access infected computers, which is what happened at the University of Vermont Medical Center in October 2020, the Justice Department said.

A hospital official said in 2021 that the attack cost it an estimated $50 million, mostly in lost revenue, while the Department of Justice pegged the losses at $30 million.

The attack “left the medical center unable to provide many critical patient services for over two weeks, creating a risk of death or serious bodily injury to patients,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

Should cyber criminals face harsher punishment?

According to prosecutors, the cybercriminals also used malicious software to get account details, passwords, personal identification numbers and other information needed to log into online banking accounts.

They then falsely represented to banks that they were employees of the victims and authorized transfers from the accounts, resulting in millions of dollars in losses, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Penchukov was a fugitive on the FBI’s cyber most-wanted list before he was arrested in Switzerland in 2022 and extradited to the United States the following year.

He faces up to 20 years in prison on each count when he is sentenced May 9.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , ,
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City