Mobile Commerce

U.S. Takes Out Two Major Malware Operations

Authorities reported on Monday that they had taken down two major computer malware enterprises that had been used to steal millions of dollars from people and small businesses around the world.

The take down included The Gameover Zeus botnet and Cryptolocker. Gameover Zeus, despite a magnificent name, is actually a network of virus-infected computers that targeted thousands of small businesses. According to CNN Money, the Gameover Zeus network was responsible for more than $100 million in losses among U.S. victims, with up to one million computers worldwide were infected since 2011.

Cryptolocker, software that encrypts files on computers, was used to lock people out of their own computers and then extract ransom payments if they wanted to see their files again. Since launching in 2013, Cryptolocker has been used to attack about 200,000 computers, half of which were in the U.S., and managed to extract $27 million from victims.

In edition to the disruption of the rings, federal prosecutors also announced charges against 30-year-old Evgeniy Bogachev, who they say ran Gameover Zeus with the help of gang of cybercriminals, which he supervised. Given that he is a Russian citizen in Russia, it is unlikely he will be extradited to the U.S. for trial, though there are talks in place to secure such an event.

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