The U.S. Government Is Accusing A Quebecer Of Illegally Gaining Millions Of Dollars

The investigation is part of a crackdown on ransomware.
Senior Editor
A U.S. Crackdown On NetWalker Ransomware Includes Charges Against A Quebecer

In a press release Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins of Gatineau had been charged as part of a crackdown on "a sophisticated form of ransomware known as NetWalker."

Vachon-Desjardins is accused of amassing "at least over $27.6 million as a result of the offenses charged in the indictment."

Editor's Choice: Amazon Is Hiring For 1,000 Warehouse Jobs Near Montreal — No Experience Or Résumé Required

$27,600,000 amount allegedly obtained by Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins

According to the DOJ, "actors that deploy NetWalker commonly gain unauthorized access to a victim’s computer network days or weeks prior to the delivery of the ransom note."

They then spread the ransomware, sending "the ransom note only once they are satisfied that they have sufficiently infiltrated the victim’s network to extort payment," the DOJ writes.

Netwalker "attacks have specifically targeted the healthcare sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, taking advantage of the global crisis to extort victims," the statement continues.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid said that the DOJ has been working to get victims their money back "wherever possible."

"We are striking back against the growing threat of ransomware by not only bringing criminal charges against the responsible actors, but also disrupting criminal online infrastructure," he said.

7 Things Montreal Politicians Think The City Needs To Do To Address Domestic Violence

The UN called violence against women "the shadow pandemic."

Before International Women's Day, the March 8 Collective — a group representing more than 700,000 Quebec women — met with Quebec's Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Isabelle Charest. The reason? To discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the province's women, including women in Montreal.

Days after the meeting, which March 8 Collective called "disappointing," Charest unveiled Quebec's action plan to counter the impacts of the pandemic on women. Despite this, local politicians believe the City of Montreal must create its own action plan to better support victims of domestic violence.

Keep Reading Show less

Quebec Is Having a Provincewide Moment Of Silence This Week To Honour COVID-19 Victims

The government has announced a "National Day of Remembrance."

The Government of Quebec has announced a "National Day of Remembrance" to honour the victims of COVID-19 on March 11, about one year after the first pandemic-related closures struck the province. 

In a Facebook post, Premier François Legault said that "we have a duty and a responsibility, as a government and also as a people, to take time out and honour the memory of those who have lost their lives."

Keep Reading Show less

Here's What You Need To Know About 'Femicide' In Quebec & Why It Still Exists

We broke down the complex issue after a string of domestic murders in the province.

In December 1989, Marc Lépine entered a mechanical engineering class at Montreal's École Polytechnique and separated nine women, ordering the men to leave the room. He notoriously told the class he was fighting feminism before killing 14 Quebec women.

This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers.

Keep Reading Show less