A $ 3million reward on kingpin behind the GameOver Zeus botnet

Pierluigi Paganini February 25, 2015

The US Justice Department offers $3 million reward for the arrest of GameOver ZeuS kingpin. The botnet was involved in financial frauds on a large-scale.

The Justice Department has announced a reward of up to $3 million for the capture of the GameOver ZeuS botnet master. The malicious botnet was used by “a tightly knit gang of cybercriminals” who developed and used the Gameover ZeuS botnet to steal million online banking credentials from Microsoft Windows machines worldwide. Law enforcement sustains that the botnet infected more than 1 million machines worldwide stealing nearly $100 million. Despite law enforcement has dismantled the GameOver Zeus botnet, authorities are still searching for the kingpin. The criminal underground is very prolific, a few weeks after the operation run by law enforcement, cyber criminals built from scratch a new Gameover Zeus Botnet. The experts at Arbor networks discovered a new variant of GameOver Zeus Botnet which implement DGA scheme.

The US authorities are searching for Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, the man is accused of various charges related the  connection to the Gameover ZeuS botnet. The authorities said the botnet infected more than 1 million computers and resulted in $100 million in losses.

“But one significant part of the puzzle remains incomplete, as Bogachev remains at large.  Although we were able to significantly disrupt the Gameover Zeus and Cryptolocker criminal enterprise, we have not yet brought Bogachev himself to justice.” Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said.

A grand jury in Pittsburgh has unsealed a 14-count indictment against the Russian citizen Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev charging him with conspiracy, wire fraud, computer hacking, bank fraud and money laundering in connection with his alleged role as an administrator of Gameover Zeus. Bogachev  is on the FBI’s most wanted cyber list.

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Bogachev was also charged in another state for similar reasons, this time the malware used is Jabber Zeus, a prior variant of Zeus. Bogachev is considered by US authorities as the alleged leader of a cyber criminal gang based in Russia and Ukraine responsible for the development and operation of both the Gameover Zeus and Cryptolocker schemes.

The law enforcement believes that Bogachev is hidden in Russia, is on the FBI’s most wanted cyber list.

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The GameOver Zeus botnet was involved in financial frauds, the malicious code is able to steal banking credentials from infected machines and that authorities also discovered that its infrastructure was also used to popular ransomware like CryptoLocker and Cryptowall.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  GameOver Zeus botnet, cybercrime)

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