Cyber-crimes have reached notorious levels in recent times scamming people of millions of dollars and one such gang which had become famous internationally for their illegal activity, has finally been dismantled after being apprehended by the police. They have allegedly stolen close to $100 million from 40,000 people using a malware called GozNym.
The police forces of Bulgaria, Moldova, US, Ukraine, Germany, and Georgia were involved in a complex investigation in order to catch the gang which used the malware to fetch the bank details of the infected people in order to gain access to their accounts. Surprisingly, the gang was formed of members who were of a criminal background and had advertised online about their specialized skill set. The Europol, the European Police Agency released the details of the arrest. The level of investigation is said to be unparalleled as it required a lot of cooperation across borders.
The ten criminals who were caught were charged in Pittsburg, US, on a number of charges which included financial theft and laundering of the money to various banks in the US as well as multiple foreign accounts. There are still five people of Russian origin who have not been caught yet with the developer and manager of GozNym being one of them. Different criminals belonging to the group face charges in a number of countries for various charges.
The main victims of GozNym included international and non-profit corporates and law firms along with small businesses that had just started. One important aspect of the whole operation that has been brought to light is the fact that these people committed the crimes in broad daylight, advertising their hacking skills online, with some even going to the extent of launching advertisements for the malware which is accessible to other criminals as well in order to commit fraud. It is being termed as ‘crime as a service’ and is being pointed as the main reason why cybercrime has skyrocketed.