Nikita Kuzmin, the creator, and author of “Gozi” malware was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to time served (37 months) by the Honorable Kimba M. Wood. Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York had announced the information today.
What is Gozi?
Gozi is used to steal money from bank accounts across the United States and Europe which had a leftover one million computers globally and had caused tens of millions of dollars in losses.
Opening an infected .pdf caused Gozi to be downloaded onto the victim’s computer secretly, where it generally remained undetectable by anti-virus software. Once downloaded, the malware collected bank account-related data from the victim’s computer, including the username and password, to access the victim’s bank account online.
The malware transmitted that data to the individuals who controlled the malware, which they used fraudulently to transfer money out of victims’ bank accounts.
In the year 2007, Experts identified malicious software that steals personal bank account information. This malware was called “Gozi”. 10,000 account records belonging to over 5,200 personal computer users were found initially. The records included login information for accounts at over 300 companies, including leading global banks and financial services firms.
Gozi is found guilty to have infected over one million computers across the United States, Germany, Great Britain, Poland, France, Finland, Italy, Turkey, and other countries.
U.S. victims include individuals, companies, and others, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”). Gozi caused at least tens of millions of dollars in losses to victims.
Adding to this, KUZMIN, 28, a citizen of Russia, was ordered to pay forfeiture and restitution in the amount of $6,934,979.
Mr. Bharara praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its outstanding work in the investigation. He also specially thanked the NASA Office of Inspector General.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Nicole Friedlander and Sarah Lai are in charge of the prosecution.