A Russian Hacker gang that used advanced malware that security software struggled to detect to gain access to its victims bank accounts, has been caught and arrested, according to several news reports.
In what is believed to be Russia’s largest ever arrest of hackers in one operation, Russian law enforcement agencies arrested over 50 people in 15 regions to catch most, if not all the people involved in the crime.
The hackers are said to responsible for using malicious software to steal 1.7 billion roubles, roughly $25 million dollars.
Russia’s equivalent of the US FBI, the FSB said in a press statement:
“As a result of searches a large quantity of computer equipment was confiscated along with communications gear, bank cards in false names, and also financial documents and significant amounts of cash confirming the illegal nature of their activity.”
The criminal gang’s alleged main weapon of attack was a Trojan known as ‘Lurk,’ that first rose to prominence in 2012.
The Lurk Trojan is designed to hide on websites where it waits before silently infecting users devices with malware that could download more malware unbeknownst to the user that granted remote access to the hackers.
Once inside, the criminals used their access to target and steal users bank account log in details. The data stole was then used to target bank accounts across Russia, and in particular Sberbank, one of Russia’s largest and most well-known financial institutions.
Experts from Kaspersky Labs helped Russian police to catch the gang by tracing the advanced network of computers and servers that were used to steal money from victims accounts.
The nick of time
The FSB said that the timing of the arrests prevented numerous pending money transfers that would have resulted in the theft of another 2.3 million roubles.