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US offers record $3m bounty for GameOver Zeus ringleader

Botnet admin sought in connection with $100m bank heist

US offers record $3m bounty for GameOver Zeus ringleader

US law enforcement officials yesterday offered a $3m reward for information leading to the conviction of Evgeniy Bogachev, the Russian national thought to be the architect and administrator of the GameOver Zeus botnet, online media reported.

The reward, announced on Tuesday by the State Department and FBI, and issued along with a wanted poster for Bogachev, is reportedly the highest ever offered in connection with a cyber-crime case. The bounty may be a reflection of the alleged scale of damage done by GameOver Zeus; the bot net is believed to be responsible for the theft of over $100m from bank accounts worldwide.

Bogachev is thought to be currently resident in Russia. Charges against him in the US include conspiracy, computer hacking, wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and federal conspiracy charges in Omaha, Nebraska, over involvement with a previous Zeus variant called Jabber Zeus.

Joseph Demarest, head of the FBI's cyber-crime unit, said Russia's internal security agency, the FSB, has raised the possibility of co-operating with the US on cybercrime investigations, but he did not link the offer with the Bogachev case. He also said the FBI had identified 60 cyber gangs linked to nations, but did not name the countries.

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