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A Young Botnet Suspect Arrested by Russian Authorities

Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs Department "K"(anti-cybercrime division) has detained a 22-year old Russian as they consider him a major suspect for running a Trojan-based botnet, as reported by softpedia on 25 June 2012.

The botnet operator is suspected to be involved in hacker circles as "Hermes" and "Arashi" is supposed to have controlled a 4.5 Million strong botnet and infected 6 Million computers.

According to reports, the case unleashed by Russian operators seems to be the biggest of its kind and one of the biggest in the world. Each day, the botnet operator must have attempted to mount malware on over 1 Million computers, resulting in around 100,000 vulnerabilities on some days.

Hermes purportedly used Carberp to operate which are the modifications of recognizable banking Trojans. Once all the personal details are acquired, the culprit transfers the money from the accounts of legitimate users into their own forged company accounts. The amount is then withdrawn through ATMs.

The authorities suspected that Hermes also rented out the botnet to third parties.

The money is then spent by Hermes on luxury vehicles and in a luxury resort and invested in other illegal businesses also.

However, it has been observed that a huge number of the infected computers are from the Russian Federation.

On raid by authorities over the suspect's house computers, storage units and documents proved his association with the scheme. The authorities confirm that the arrest of "Hermes" and other members of his hacker group were carried out with the assistance of anti-virus company Dr. Web.

A criminal case under three articles of the Criminal Code - 159 ("Fraud"), 272 ("Illegal access to computer information"), 273 ("The creation, use and dissemination of malicious software"), have been filed against the culprit, by the authorities.

The arrest followed a 10-month investigation by the department, with support from Russian anti-virus software vendor Dr. Web. Both (authorisities and Dr. Web) now predict a significant reduction in the number of thefts of cash from bank accounts of individuals and organizations.

Related article: A New "Blackmailing" Variant Creeps Around…

» SPAMfighter News - 7/6/2012

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