Two Russian hackers charged the U.S. Justice Department and the United Kingdom (NCA) for their role in computer hacking, bank fraud schemes and role in the deployment of “Bugat” malware.
V. Yakubets, aka online moniker, “aqua,” 32, of Moscow, Russia, involved in computer hacking and bank fraud. Igor Turashev, 38, from Yoshkar-Ola, Russia involved in the distribution of “Bugat” malware.
Russian Hackers Financial Malware Deployment
Yakubets involved in cybercrime for a long period, he deployed financial malware in several computer systems worldwide, that results in the loss of millions of dollars to victims worldwide.
“For over a decade, Maksim Yakubets and Igor Turashev led one of the most sophisticated transnational cybercrime syndicates in the world,” said U.S. Attorney Brady.
They involved in deploying ‘Bugat’ malware, also known as ‘Cridex’ and ‘Dridex,’ and they primarily targeted the individuals and companies in western Pennsylvania and across the globe.
Dridex distributed via spam e-mail with a weaponized Microsoft Word and the malware leverages macros in Microsoft Office to infect systems. The main goal of Dridex malware is to steal banking credentials.
According to the indictment, “Bugat is a malware specifically crafted to defeat antivirus and other protective measures employed by victims.”
With the stolen banking credentials Yakubets and Turashev conducted unauthorized financial transactions from the victim’s accounts.
“Yakubets and his co-conspirators are alleged to have victimized 21 specific municipalities, banks, companies, and non-profit organizations in California, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Washington, identified in the complaint, including multiple entities in Nebraska and a religious congregation.”
“Today’s announcement involved a long-running investigation of a sophisticated organized cybercrime syndicate, said FBI Deputy Director Bowdich. “The charges highlight the persistence of the FBI and our partners to vigorously pursue those who desire to profit from innocent people through deception and theft.”
The U.S. Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) announced a reward program of up to $5 million for providing information about Yakubets. It is the biggest reward offer for a cybercriminal to date.