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Hackers that tried to steal $100m arrested, group dismantled

(Image credit: Image Credit: JMiks / Shutterstock)

A hacker group that tried to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from thousands of companies all over the world has been broken up, and its members arrested, the media reported late this week.

This Thursday, an indictment was made public, in which it was unveiled that the group's leader, Alexander Konovolov controlled some 41,000 computers. On these machines, he installed a version of the GozNym malware, a banking trojan that steals login credentials.

After that, he was able to steal thousands of dollars, and tried to launder them through US and foreign bank accounts.

In total, it is being estimated that Konovolov and the gang tried to steal $100 million. The majority of the victims were US businesses, and their supporting financial institutions, among them a Pennsylvania asphalt and paving business, a Washington law firm, a casino in Gulport, Mississippi, and a California furniture business.

This was not a US-only operation. Agents from Bulgaria, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, and Ukraine were all involved. Five of the accused live in Russia.

“We found that GozNym was a highly structured, specialized organized crime network, and each defendant represented in the indictment had a specialized role to play and brought a unique skillset to the conspiracy,” Scott Brady, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, said at a press conference Thursday.

To learn how to protect yourself from GozNym, read our Best Antivirus Software of 2019 guide (opens in new tab).

Image Credit: JMiks / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.