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US offers $3m for info on Russian engaged in hacking op

25 February 2015 8:57


The United States is offering a $3 million reward for any information that leads to the detention of a Russian national purportedly engaged in hacking of a number of banks.

In a statement on Tuesday, the US State Department made the offer for information on Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, alleging he was the administrator of a group that stole some $100 million.

The group is said to have been behind the “GameOver Zeus” malware, an updated version of “Jabber Zeus”, which made it possible for thieves to break into bank accounts in 12 countries.

“This reward offer reaffirms the commitment of the US government to bring those who participate in organized crime to justice, whether they hide online or overseas,” said the State Department statement.

Bogachev, who is already on the FBI “cyber’s most wanted” list, is probably living in Russia, according the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

“This was a worldwide infection, but it also had law enforcement worldwide working to combat it and bring to justice the criminal organization behind it,”Joseph Demarest, head of the FBI’s cyber crime division, said in a statement.

Last year, federal authorities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, charged the Russian national, also known as “lucky12345” and “slavik”, with multiple counts including conspiracy, computer hacking, bank fraud, and money laundering.

The FBI said at the time that it sought help from technology companies such as Microsoft and Symantec in order to put an end to the operation.

According to some security experts, the malware shortly re-emerged following the FBI move.

Last June, the US Justice Department said the servers used by the cybercriminals to control infected machines had been shut down.

Up to one million computers were reportedly infected by the malware through emails.

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