How much is a cyber criminal worth to the United States Government? I never really thought about it. However, now we know how much one is worth: $3 million. This marks the highest amount the US has ever offered for information leading to the arrest or conviction of a cyber criminal.
Who’s the lucky cyber criminal? Russian national Evgeniy Bogachev is the administrator of computer attack network (botnet) GameOver Zeus that allegedly stole more than $100 million from online bank accounts, according to Reuters.
Also, he’s allegedly the hacker behind the infamous Cryptolocker malware, according to a filing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Cryptolocker is a type of ransomware that takes hold of a user’s system, encrypts the information on that system and then demands payment to return access to those files to the user. GameOver Zeus was one of the main distribution “vehicles” for infecting suspect computers with this malware.
Last June, the FBI, with multinational partners, announced its attempt to disrupt the GameOver Zeus botnet. In July, it was confirmed the botnet was disrupted, but not taken down. Several computers were removed from the botnet, severely hindering its ability to perform illegal actions.
“GameOver Zeus is the most sophisticated botnet the FBI and our allies have ever attempted to disrupt,” said FBI Executive Assistant Director Robert Anderson. “The efforts announced today are a direct result of the effective relationships we have with our partners in the private sector, international law enforcement, and within the U.S. government.” FBI.Gov press release, 6/2/14
The case, filed in the Western District of Pennsylvania, also identifies two known alias’ of Bogachev as “Slavik” and “Pollingsoon”. Other defendants named in the case are but aliases of various Internet denizens believed to live in Russia and/or the Ukraine whom help administrate the GameOver Zeus botnet.
Take a look at the FBI filing here.