FBI cracks $100m financial-crime botnet

GameOver Zeus malware claims 1m victims; UK users told they have two-week window to act

Tags: Cyber crimeFederal Bureau of Investigation (http://www.fbi.gov)FireEye Incorporated (www.fireeye.com)RussiaUSAUkraineUnited Kingdom
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FBI cracks $100m financial-crime botnet Up to a million machines globally may have been infected with GameOver Zeus.
By  Stephen McBride Published  June 3, 2014

British computer users have today been urged to take urgent action to protect their personal data against malware that has been blamed for the extortion of millions of dollars from victims worldwide.

The British National Crime Agency said users had a two-week window to act after the US FBI cracked a botnet that was spreading the GameOver Zeus malware kit, which had stolen personal and financial data worldwide.

According to The Independent, more than 15,000 machines in the UK are believed to have been infected by a cyber group based in Russia and the Ukraine. The FBI believes GameOver Zeus has been responsible for $100m in losses.

In addition to searching for personal credentials for the purpose of financial theft, the kit also drops the CryptoLocker ransomeware program, which encrypts all files on a target's computer, including personal photographs, and charges £300 ($500) to unlock them.

Worldwide, the FBI estimates around 250,000 computers have been infected with CryptoLocker since April and extortion payments amount to $27m. Up to a million machines globally may have been infected with GameOver Zeus.

The FBI announced yesterday that it had identified the suspected co-ordinator of the cyber culprits as a Syrian-born Russian named Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev. While still at large, Bogachev is now sought by authorities in the matter of 14 criminal charges relating to the administration of GameOver Zeus and CyberLocker.

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