The US State Department have offered a staggering $3 million bounty for computer hacker Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachey, the largest reward offered by US authorities for a cybercriminal.
Bogachey was the mastermind behind popular strain of malware Gameover Zeus which first hit computers in 2013, which was estimated to have stolen over $100 million from its victims.
Gameover Zeus infected victims computers via a series of email phishing scams that tricked users into installing malicious software onto their machines. That malware was able to commit online banking fraud, allowing criminals to steal online financial information.
However it was Cryptolocker – the malware that often came attached to Gameover Zeus – that garnered much of the media attention. Cryptlocker – if you remember – encrypted a user’s information and demanded a ransom to decrypt it. The ransom had to be paid via the anonymous virtual currency BitCoin.
Gameover Zeus helped Cryptolocker spread via the BotNet that Gameover Zeus created. Also Crytolocker installed itself on computers infected with Gameover Zeus if the latter couldn’t locate any financial information to compromise.
The pair of malware strains stolen hundreds of millions of dollars, much of which ended up in Bogachey’s pocket.
He’s suspected to still be in Russia, where he was last seen. This could pose a problem for the United States, as they have no extradition treaty with then.
A press release by FBI assistant director Joseph Demarest says…
This was a worldwide infection, but it also had law enforcement worldwide working to combat it and bring to justice the criminal organization behind it.
We are turning to the world again for assistance in locating Bogachev. While he is known to reside in Russia, he may travel. With this $3 million reward incentive, someone, somewhere may see him and let the authorities know his whereabouts.
Were you hit with the Gameover Zeus or Cryptolocker malware or know someone who was? Let us know below.