Microsoft engineer Raymond Uadiale is facing money laundering charges in his role in a series of ransomware attacks that generated $130,000, federal law enforcement officials said.
Uadiale, 41, who has been a Microsoft employee since 2014, worked with an individual known as K!NG and based in the United Kingdom, between October 2012 and March 2013. K!NG was responsible for infecting computers with Reveton ransomware, while the now-Microsoft employee was in charge of obtaining prepaid debit cards used in the scheme, officials said.
Uadiale ended up charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for each charge.
He pleaded not guilty to both charges last week in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
K!NG used GreenDot MoneyPak prepaid cards to collect the ransom, and victims were required to enter the code in the ransomware UI on their computers. The hacker then transferred the funds obtained from their targets to prepaid debit cards which Uadiale procured under the name of Mike Roland, officials said
The Reveton ransomware used the FBI and NSA logos to inform victims their computers were locked because of suspicion of illegal content downloading and distribution. Using logos of several state departments and bureaus tricked victims into thinking they were indeed dealing with a legitimate block, and it’s believed this was one of the reasons that convinced several to pay the ransom.
Out of the $130,000 made with the ransomware, Uadiale received 30 percent, while K!NG got the other 70 percent, court documents show.
Microsoft is aware of the case.
Uadiale, who was born in Nigeria but has become a U.S. citizen, is free on a $100,000 bond. Uadiale’s attorney said his client never met K!NG in person.
“These events occurred about five years ago, and it was for an extremely short period of time. Mr. Uadiale has been extremely responsible and cooperative in this case,” Uadiale’s lawyer said in a Sun Sentinel report.