World’s biggest cybercrime gang steals millions with botnet

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Hacker typing on a laptopEvgeniy Bogachev, said to be known as “lucky12345” and “slavik”, is accused of being involved in attacks on more than a million computers and is now wanted by the FBI. The charges came as authorities seized control of a botnet used to steal personal and financial data.

Millions of users have been hit by zombie-style botnet dubbed, ‘Gameover Zeus’ and a ransom Cryptolocker.

It is one of the most sophisticated cyber crime campaigns ever mounted: a hacking spree that snared millions of victims worldwide and netted the allegedly Russian gang behind it as much as half a billion pounds. Not content with raiding the bank accounts of their victims, the thieves blackmailed them, and then hijacked their computers to snare even more targets.

The criminal network behind it has now been hit by a global police operation. But security experts are warning that computer-users have a two week window before another hacking spree hits again. The general public are being encouraged to think before entering personal data into computers and smart phones and to download extra security and anti-virus software in order to counteract the attacks.

The emails included an attachment or link, and when the recipient clicked on it they were infected with GameOver Zeus, a powerful new virus. It first checks whether the computer’s keyboard was set up in Russian, and if not, it installed a more complex virus which gave the criminal gang complete control over the machine.

“Anything you can do on your computer, they can do on your computer without you knowing,” said Stewart Garrick, who has led the NCCU’s investigation into the gang. “I know of more than 15,000 computers in the UK infected with this right now.”

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