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US DOJ Charges Nine Individuals for Using Malware to Embezzle Millions of Dollars

Theguardian.com published a report on 11th April, 2014 quoting the US Justice Department as saying "nine people have been charged in an alleged international conspiracy using malicious software to collect details of bank-account and then using them to steal million of dollars from accounts of Nebraska bank."

The Justice Department said that two of the defendants who were Ukrainian nationals living in UK have been extradited to face charges in Nebraska. In the meantime, accords to court documents, four others living in Ukraine and Russia are still absconding while three other defendants have yet to be identified.

A grand jury indicted the defendants in August 2012 but the indictment was not opened till Friday, 11th April, 2014.

According to charges, the defendants apparently fitted Zeus trojans on many computers and they used this malware to garner bank account numbers, passwords, RSA SecureID token codes, personal identification numbers, amongst other information.

The documents reveal that the alleged infiltrators posed as workers of victim organization and conducted illicit transfers of funds from hijacked bank accounts.

The charges also confirm that the defendants used "money mules" residing in US who accepted finances transferred over the ACH (Automated Clearing House) network or via other inter-state wire systems from bank account of victim into the money mules' personal bank accounts and then extracted and wired a part of those funds to conspirators living overseas.

Pcmag.com published news on 11th April, 2014 quoting a statement by David O'Neil, Acting Assistant AG (Attorney General), as saying that the 'Zeus' malware is one of the most destructive strains of financial malware that has been used."

Moreover, this is not the sole time that the Zeus Trojan has been linked to a much-talked about case since its inception in 2007 as last year (referring to 2013) hackers spread this malware using NBC website or NBC.com, site of popular US broadcaster NBC, which permitted them to get control over computers of users. It was later employed in a money-spinning marketing scam on Instagram, a renowned social networking website, which spawned and sold bogus 'Likes' and followers to brands.

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