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Three foreigners indicted with bank malware operation, which attacked 40K PCs

Authorities in New York (USA), on January 23, 2013, indicted three individuals for participating in one complicated global operation of utilizing a computer virus known as 'Gozi' that contaminated systems in the thousands across the world while grabbing people's banking data, published mashable.com dated January 23, 2013.

A 30-month investigation was conducted into the case following which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has revealed the particulars, including the consequence resulting in the prosecution of the 3 persons from Eastern Europe namely Deniss Calovskis, Mihai Paunescu and Nikita Kuzmin. Different counts of charges have been alleged against the trio including wire and bank fraud, gaining of unauthorized admission into devices, and PC hack. They're now sentenced to up to 67, 60 and 95 years of jail separately.

Earlier, Kuzmin belonging to Russia got detained in USA during November 2010 when he admitted his crime and since been cooperating with investigating officials.

As per investigators, the Gozi malware contaminated 40,000-or-more PCs across USA, of which over 160 PCs were situated at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), while accounting for many million USD in theft from the victims.

Moreover, it's evident from court documents that a single command-and-control (C&C) system related to the Gozi saved over 3,000 usernames belonging to Internet banking consumers.

Additionally, it's apparent that Kuzmin alone planned out the whole scheme. For, as per court documents, during 2005, Kuzmin planned to write one malware, which would filch plenty of victims' banking details, while escape detection by anti-malware software. Besides, he listed several technical specifications and paid a programmer who'd develop the code that was, however, completed after many months.

Thereafter, Kuzmin gave the malicious software on rent to cyber-criminals who paid a fee every week and this business Kuzmin named "76 Service." Ultimately, he sold the PC-virus, during 2009, to his accomplices. Presently, Latvia national Calovskis is charged with authoring the virus, whereas Romanian national Paunescu is accused of facilitating 'bullet-proof hosting' for the proliferation of Gozi.

Incidentally, USA now wants that Kuzmin's alleged associates be extradited to it following arrest of them during 2012 in their respective countries-of-origin.

Related article: Three MOOP’s Scooped

» SPAMfighter News - 01-02-2013

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