The United Stats government believes that it has shut down one of the largest botnets, which is run by Russian boating enthusiast Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev. The FBI and Justice Department on Monday announced that it successfully cracked a Trojan virus called Gameover Zeus (GOZ), which is responsible for creating a botnet out of several computers around the world. GOZ can spread by convincing users to visit malicious websites using phishing e-mails.
The computers that are infected with GOZ often passed financial information back to the hackers who created the virus. The GOZ then locked up computers until a user pays a fee (known as ransomware). The ransomware victims paid around $30 million between September and December 2013.
“GameOver Zeus is the most sophisticated botnet the FBI and our allies have ever attempted to disrupt,” stated FBI Executive Assistant Director Robert Anderson. This was a joint effort between 10 different countries.
A Nebraska-based federal grand jury found that GOZ was the work of a user that is known as lucky12345. He was indicted with charges, including conspiracy to to commit bank fraud, identify theft, and hacking charges. On Friday, authorities issued a criminal complaint that named Bogachev. Bogachev owns property in Krasnodar, Russia. He used to live in Anapa, a town on Black Sea coast.
Bogachev is at the top of the FBI’s Cyber’s Most Wanted list.