An international cybercrime network that used malware to steal an estimated $100 million from victims in the U.S. and Europe has been dismantled by the cooperation of the U.S. and several European countries, the Department of Justice announced Thursday, reports The Hill. A federal grand jury in Pennsylvania indicted ten members of the GozNym cybercrime network for conspiracy to infect victims’ computers with malware. The malware captured online banking credentials that the group used to steal money from victims’ bank accounts. DOJ estimated the malware infected “tens of thousands” of computers worldwide.
The case involved what DOJ described as “unprecedented initiation of criminal prosecutions” against the defendants involved in the case, who live in Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Bulgaria. Five of the defendants named in the indictment are Russian nationals who “remain fugitives from justice.” “This takedown highlights the importance of collaborating with our international law enforcement partners against this evolution of organized cybercrime,” said FBI agent Robert Jones in Pittsburgh. The indictment said the case was an example of “cybercrime as a service,” as the defendants advertised their program on Russian-language criminal forums. Europol described the group as a “highly specialized and international criminal network.” Among victims of the malware attack were a law firm in Washington, D.C., a church in Texas, a provider of electrical safety devices in Rhode Island, and a distributor of medical devices in Germany.