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Authorities capture cyber crime gang that stole $1.2 billion

LISBON, Portugal — Police in Spain have captured a cybercrime gang made up of Ukrainians and Russians that allegedly stole greater than $1.24 billion from monetary establishments international in a five-year spree, government mentioned Monday.

The gang’s alleged mastermind, known as a Ukrainian and named handiest as “Denis K.,” was once arrested within the coastal town of Alicante, 220 miles southeast of Madrid, in keeping with statements issued through Spanish police and European Union regulation enforcement company Europol.

Three suspected accomplices, mentioned to be Russian and Ukrainian, had been additionally arrested, Spanish government mentioned. In Ukraine, police mentioned that an unidentified 30-year-old guy related to the gang was once cooperating with government.

The hackers — whose actions have lengthy been tracked through safety researchers — used malware to focus on greater than 100 monetary establishments international, occasionally stealing as much as 10 million euros in each and every heist. Almost all of Russia’s banks had been focused, and about 50 of them misplaced cash within the digital robberies, government mentioned.

The gang used well-worn tactics comparable to booby trapped emails to wreck into banks and compromise the networks controlling ATMs, successfully turning the machines into loose money dispensers.

Ross Rustici, a senior director at Boston-based virtual safety company Cybereason, mentioned the gang stood out from others as a result of the volume of care and making plans it put into operations.

“They’re unusual in how slow and methodical they are and how organized they are,” Rustici mentioned. Other teams use identical tactics in isolation, “but nobody before them had strung all those things together on such a scale,” he mentioned.

Authorities mentioned that the gang transformed its illicit positive factors into bitcoins and used the cryptocurrency to buy large price tag pieces, together with properties and cars, in Spain.

Rustici mentioned it appeared most probably the gang contributors botched their effort to launder their ill-gotten positive factors.

“That’s usually what happens with these who are very good on the network side, they make mistakes on the money side,” he mentioned. “You can’t buy a nice villa on the Mediterranean with cryptocurrency. Or at least not yet.”

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