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OPP arrest Oakville man suspected to be a Russian hacker

Ontario Provincial Police
Ontario Provincial Police

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have arrested a 34-year-old Oakville man suspected to be a Russian hacker from an international ransomware group called LockBit. 

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alleges that LockBit has been responsible for around 1,700 attacks since 2020, and during that period was paid over $90 million in ransoms. 

The Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) of the OPP has successfully concluded “Project Archie,” a three-year investigation that led to the arrest of a 34-year-old Oakville resident, Mikhail Vasiliev. 

The investigation, launched in 2020, gained momentum when the OPP Cybercrime Investigations Team (CIT) collaborated with the FBI, following intelligence reports of an Ontario resident offering ransomware as a service. 

The joint effort led to a breakthrough on Oct. 26, 2022, when investigators executed a search warrant at Vasiliev's residence in the Town of Bradford. Electronic devices were seized and subjected to thorough forensic analysis.

On Dec. 14, 2023, the OPP arrested and charged Vasiliev with multiple Criminal Code offences, including the following:

  • Three counts of Extortion 
  • Three counts of Unauthorized use of a computer 
  • Failing to comply with a release order 

The accused also previously faced charges related to firearms offences.

Vasiliev has been remanded into custody and is set to make a court appearance before the Ontario Court of Justice in Orillia on Tuesday (Dec. 19).

Media Relations Coordinator Gosia Puzio commented on the incident stating, "The OPP continually works to assess, identify and minimize any potential risks and recommends the public, agencies and businesses take whatever steps necessary to secure their information and data systems."

Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud should report it to their local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or If not a victim, the incident should still be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.


Ben Brown

About the Author: Ben Brown

Ben Brown is a local news reporter from Oakville, Ontario, a graduate from WIlfrid Laurier University and a self-published author. His main focus is reporting on crime, local businesses and achievements, and general news assignments throughout town
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