Eight Zeus-related money mules arrested

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Nov 9, 2010

Arrests in US and Moldova show that cybercriminals aren't immune to the law.

Police in the US state of Wisconsin have arrested two Moldovan citizens who they believe have worked as money mules, transferring money stolen using the Zeus trojan to overseas bank accounts. Meanwhile, in Moldova six individuals - among whom is at least one employee of the Bank of Moldova - have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in the same criminal organisation.

Zeus, also known as ZBot, is a trojan horse that finds its way on users' computers using drive-by-downloads and phishing schemes. The malware is primarily used for stealing online banking details, using keyloggers to get hold of users' login credentials. The malware goes back at least three years but is still active; its current botnet is believed to include millions of computers.

Most cybercriminals are not based in the countries they attack, and the use of money mules helps them get hold of the stolen money, while remaining invisible to the banks. However, these arrests show that neither the money mules, nor those running the gangs, are immune to the law. The cooperation between law authorities in the US and Moldova must be applauded.

More at Brian Krebs' security blog here and at Sophos's blog here. The press release from the Moldovan Centre for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption (CCECC) can be found here.

Organized criminals are increasingly realizing the true financial potential of botnets, and utilizing them in ever more nefarious ways. At the VB Seminar DC Bob Burls of the UK's Police Central e-Crime Unit will examine what botnets are capable of, how they are currently being used, and highlight the necessity for more collaborative law enforcement and IT industry response.

The VB Seminar takes place at the IET London, UK from 9am to 4pm on 25 November 2010. Secure your place by booking online now. (Or download a PDF copy of the booking form and fax the completed form to us on +44 (0)1865 543153.)

Posted on 09 November 2010 by Virus Bulletin



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