US authorities put $5m bounty on Russian hackers behind cyber attacks in 40 countries

From: RegTech Analyst

Hackers who stole tens of millions using the trojan malware Zeus from victims including Bank of America, Key Bank and GenLabs have a price on their head.

US authorities have put a $5m bounty on two Russian nationals who are allegedly behind the cyber crime organisation Evil Corp, which is accused of having stolen millions of dollars across 40 countries, the BBC reported.

The US State Department in collaboration the US Department of Justice and the FBI announced the bounty on Maksim Yakubets and Igor Turashev on Thursday.

The State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the Cyber Crime Unit  at the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency were also behind the bounty.

Yakubets have been accused of running the malware operation since 2009 and, with several co-conspirators, to have installed Zeus on thousands of business computers.

Yakubets is also accused of having collaborated with Turashev to launch Dridex malware to siphon millions of dollars from online bank accounts. Those attacks also originated in 2009.

“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 A. Benczkowski, assistant attorney general.

“These two cases demonstrate our commitment to unmasking the perpetrators behind the world’s most egregious cyberattacks. The assistance of our international partners, in particular the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom, was crucial to our efforts to identify Yakubets and his co-conspirators.”

US attorney Scott W. Brady for the Western District of Pennsylvania added, “For over a decade, Maksim Yakubets and Igor Turashev led one of the most sophisticated transnational cybercrime syndicates in the world. Deploying Bugat malware, also known as Cridex and Dridex, these cybercriminals targeted individuals and companies in western Pennsylvania and across the globe in one of the most widespread malware campaigns we have ever encountered. International cybercriminals who target Pennsylvania citizens and companies are no different than any other criminal: they will be investigated, prosecuted and held accountable for their actions.”

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