Entertainment Justice Dept. charges Russian hacker behind the Dridex malware

20:08  05 december  2019
20:08  05 december  2019 Source:   msn.com

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U.S. prosecutors have brought computer hacking and fraud charges against a Russian citizen, Maksim Yakubets, who is accused of developing and distributing Dridex, a notorious banking malware used to allegedly steal more than $100 million from hundreds of banks over a multi-year operation.

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Per the unsealed 10-count indictment, Yakubets is accused of leading and overseeing Evil Corp, a Russian-based cybercriminal network that oversaw the creation of Dridex. The malware is often spread by email and infects computers, silently siphoning off banking logins. The malware has also been known to be used as a delivery mechanism for ransomware, as was the case with the April cyberattack on drinks giant Arizona Beverages.

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The Russian hacker is also alleged to have used the Zeus malware to successfully steal more than $70 million from victims' bank accounts. Prosecutors said the Zeus scheme was "one of the most outrageous cybercrimes in history."

Justice Department officials, speaking in Washington DC with their international partners from the U.K.'s National Crime Agency, said Yakubets also provided "direct assistance" to the Russian government in his role working for the FSB (formerly KGB) from 2017 to work on projects involving the theft of confidential documents through cyberattacks.

Feds charge two Russian hackers in malware attack on U.S. bank, other companies

  Feds charge two Russian hackers in malware attack on U.S. bank, other companies The two obtained access to the U.S. computer systems through phishing emails falsely claiming to be from legitimate companies and groups. The attacks were among "the worst computer hacking and bank fraud schemes of the past decade," Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski said at a news conference.Benczkowski added that Yakubets was a "true 21st century criminal" and the "leader of a cybercriminal gang" who allegedly orchestrated "the kinds of criminal schemes so audacious and sophisticated they would be difficult to imagine if they were not real.

Prosecutors said Evil Corp was to blame for an "unimaginable" amount of cybercrime during the past decade, with a primary focus on attacking financial organizations in the U.S. and the U.K.

“Maksim Yakubets allegedly has engaged in a decade-long cybercrime spree that deployed two of the most damaging pieces of financial malware ever used and resulted in tens of millions of dollars of losses to victims worldwide,” said Brian Benczkowski, assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's criminal division, in remarks.

The State Department announced a $5 million reward for information related to the capture of Yakubets, who remains at large.

In a separate statement, Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said the department issued sanctions against Evil Corp for the group's role in international cyber crime, including two other hackers associated with the group — Igor Turashev and Denis Gusev — as well as seven Russian companies with connections to Evil Corp..

"This coordinated action is intended to disrupt the massive phishing campaigns orchestrated by this Russian-based hacker group," said Mnuchin.

Read more:

  • Two hackers behind 2016 Uber data breach have been indicted for another hack
  • Justice Department indicts 80 individuals in a massive business email scam bust
  • Prosecutors charge Chinese hacker for 2015 Anthem breach

Three people sentenced for running $100 million malware crime network .
The takedown of a massive malware crime network is now leading to consequences for some of its alleged participants. The US and the country of Georgia have sentenced three people for their roles in using GozNym malware to steal upwards of $100 million. Krasimir Nikolov was sentenced in the US to the 39 months he'd served in prison for serving as an "account takeover specialist," and will be retirned to Bulgaria. Two others, the "primaryThe network operated for years, using GozNym to compromise over 41,000 computers and swipe money from targets' bank accounts. It started falling apart when Nikolov was caught and extradited to the US in December 2016, although he didn't plead guilty until April 2019.

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