In brief: The US Justice and Treasury departments want 17 individuals associated with an organization called “Evil Corp” to be brought to justice after they were found to have stolen in excess of $100 million using banking malware. There’s even a $5 million reward for information on the hacking group leader, Maksim Yakubets.
When it comes to hacking, the consensus seems to be that Russian hackers are the fastest, managing to move freely through an organization’s network only 20 minutes after the initial breach.
They’re also the most prolific, and one relevant example is a hacking group known as “Evil Corp,” which was able to steal no less than $100 million dollars from bank accounts in 40 countries over the last few years using a combination of phishing campaigns and banking malware against individuals and major corporations.
Today, US prosecutors have brought charges against the group’s leader, Maksim Yakubets, who is allegedly responsible for the development and distribution of Dridex, a well-known banking malware that is able to evade traditional antivirus solutions and spreads mostly through email phishing campaigns. The group has also been linked to a multi-year operation that used a similar malware known as “Zeus,” which helped them steal an additional $70 million from their victims.
Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, said in a separate public statement that “Treasury is sanctioning Evil Corp as part of a sweeping action against one of the world’s most prolific cybercriminal organizations. This coordinated action is intended to disrupt the massive phishing campaigns orchestrated by this Russian-based hacker group.”
The goal is to catch the ring leaders of Evil Corp who are believed to reside in Moscow, Russia. There’s even a $5 million reward available for anyone who can offer information that would lead to their arrest. The DOJ also mentions Igor Turashev, who reportedly helped in crafting ransomware and acted as an administrator for Evil Corp’s logistics.
Interestingly, Evil Corp leader Yakubets has been linked to Russian intelligence services, and is believed to have aided them in collecting sensitive information on various targets since 2017. He’s taking the top spot on the FBI’s most-wanted cybercriminals list, with a price on his head that’s higher than the one that was paid for the arrest of Evgenyi Bogachev, creator of the Gameover Zeus malware.
With banking trojan attacks becoming more aggressive every year, it’s important to take necessary steps to keep safe from such attacks as detailed here. It’s worth keeping backups of your important files, too, as there isn’t always an “accidental hero” Marcus Hutchins that can jump in to save everyone from ransomware attacks.