A Polish national, Artur Grabowski, is facing fraud and money laundering charges after his web hosting company, LolekHosted, was seized by the U.S. government. The Justice Department announced the charges on Friday, alleging that criminal hackers used Grabowski’s company for various illegal activities.
LolekHosted, which claimed to be a secure and “bulletproof” platform, was known to be favored by criminal hackers. These types of web hosting services have been associated with ransomware attacks, phishing schemes, and brute-force attacks. Grabowski is accused of facilitating criminal acts by allowing clients to register accounts with fake information, repeatedly changing the IP address of the company’s servers, not logging client IP addresses, ignoring abuse claims against clients, and warning clients about queries from authorities.
Since its establishment in 2014, LolekHosted allegedly offered “100% privacy hosting,” except for child sex abuse material. One notable hacking operation attributed to LolekHosted is the NetWalker ransomware, which targeted approximately 400 victims in 50 attacks worldwide. The victims included municipalities, companies, hospitals, school districts, colleges and universities, and law enforcement agencies. The hackers received over 5,000 bitcoin in ransoms, equivalent to approximately $146 million, according to the DOJ.
The U.S. government seized the LolekHosted.net domain on Tuesday with a warrant issued by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Grabowski now faces charges of computer fraud conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, and international money laundering. If convicted, he could face up to 45 years in prison and will be required to forfeit $21.5 million in alleged criminal proceeds. Currently, Grabowski is a fugitive.