Hackers with high-placed daddies ‘Evil Corp’ member designated by U.S. Treasury is son of former Russian mayor
Meduza has learned that one of the members of the hacker group “Evil Corp,” which U.S. official say is “behind the world’s most egregious cyberattacks,” is Andrey Kovalsky, the son of former Khimki Mayor Vladimir Strelchenko.
On December 5, the U.S. Treasury Department designated more than a dozen suspected hackers, including a man named Andrey Plotnitsky, born in Moscow in 1989, who also goes by the surnames “Kovalsky” and “Strel.” On March 1, 2018, the Telegram channel Super.ru wrote about Andrey Kovalsky, describing him as ex-Mayor Strelchenko’s son, in a story (with photographs) about Kovalsky’s love of street racing. The same man appears in a CBS Evening News report about Evil Corp. In the video below, he appears at 01:17 into the clip.
Meduza ran the images from CBS and Super.ru through the facial-recognition service “FindClone” and discovered several old, active, and fake accounts belonging to Kovalsky on VKontakte. One of these accounts was registered to “Vitya Kolochkov,” another to “Andrey Plotnickiy,” and another to “Seryoga Usmanov.”
U.S. officials believe Evil Corp’s leader is a man named Maxim Yakubets, who drives a customized Lamborghini supercar with a personalized plate number that translates to “THIEF.” (The U.S. government has promised a $5-million reward for information leading to Yakubets’s arrest — the largest reward in history for a cybercriminal.) Super.ru has also reported that Kovalsky has expensive cars with plate numbers reading “THIEF.”
Kovalsky has since deleted all the images from his active VKontakte accounts, but Meduza has obtained a photo showing him at an auto shop, where Yakubets’s Lamborghini Huracan is visible in the background. Meduza also found another photograph showing Kovalsky on vacation in Sochi standing beside other Evil Corp members’ sports-cars, also with “THIEF” license plates.
Translation by Kevin Rothrock