Cyber security has become an endless fight (just like in the Tom and Jerry cartoon). We often read on the news bulletin that major business organizations have been breached. Lack of awareness, proactiveness and security expertise are primarily responsible for businesses being victims to cyber hacks and breaches.
Over half a billion personal records stolen or lost in 2015, as per Symantec’s internet security threat report.
We recently wrote about Hamza Bendelladj an Algerian hacker who created the SpyEye software that could infect a user’s computer and then be used to steal personal information. Today we will be focusing about one of FBI’s most wanted cyber criminal – Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, the leader of a notorious cybercrime ring responsible for creating and circulating ‘Gameover Zeus’, (a virus which fetched him over $100 million).
Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev – Author of Gameover Zeus
Known by his several aliases such as “lucky12345”, “slavik”, “Pollingsoon”, Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev is wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for his alleged involvement in a series of wide-ranging racketeering enterprise and scheme that installed, without authorization, malicious software known as “Zeus” on victims’ computers.
Confidential data such as personal identification numbers, passwords, bank account numbers as well as other data and information which is necessary to log into online banking accounts were captured by the Zeus software. Bogachev was known to be involved as an administrator whereas many others were part of this conspiracy in distribution of spam and phishing emails, that contained links to compromised websites. Any bank account holder who visited these websites became victims and were infected with the malware which was utilized by Bogachev and others to steal money from the victims bank accounts. FBI investigated this online account takeover fraud since the summer of 2009.
The FBI began investigating a modified version of the Zeus Trojan at the start of September month in 2011. This Trojan, known as Gameover Zeus (GOZ) is believed to be responsible for more than one million computer infections that resulted in the financial losses of over more than $100 million.
A federal grand jury in the District of Nebraska indicted Bogachev on August 22, 2012 on charges of Conspiracy to Participate in Racketeering Activity; Bank Fraud; Conspiracy to Violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; Conspiracy to Violate the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act; and Aggravated Identity Theft. He was indicted under the nickname “lucky12345”.
On May 19, 2014, a federal grand jury in the Western District of Pennsylvania indicted Bogachev in his true name on charges of Conspiracy; Computer Fraud; Wire Fraud; Bank Fraud; and Money Laundering. On May 30, 2014, a criminal complaint was issued in the District of Nebraska that ties the previously indicted nickname of “lucky12345” to Bogachev and charges him with Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud.
The United States has offered a $3m (£1.94m) reward for information on Bogachev, the highest the US authorities have ever offered in a cybercrime case.