US Announces Highest Ever Bounty For A Russian Hacker
Offering $3 million reward — the highest ever bounty for a cyber case — the Federal Bureau of Investigation this Tuesday reinforced its ambition to arrest Russian hacker Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev. The man who is alleged to be the mastermind behind the GameOver ZeuS computer network attack. This malware extracted the passwords to online banking sites from PCs running Microsoft Windows.
The hack has affected more than 1 million personal computers and allegedly incurred more than $1 million in losses. A ‘Wanted’ poster has also been released by the FBI indicating how serious this conviction is to them. Several federal authorities have charged Bogachev with conspiracy, computer hacking, wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.
GameOver ZeuS would not be the only malware getting him these charges. Jabber Zeus malware, also administered by Bogachev, caused huge losses to banks in the state of Nebraska and Omaha.
Russia’s internal security agency, FSB, has agreed to join hands with the FBI to work against cyber terrorism. But no details as to whether this partnership was linked to the Bogachev case were shared by Joseph Demarest, head of the FBI’s cyber crime division. He also told that China has not expressed any interest in cooperating with the United States on cybercrimes.
Following the Sony Pictures hack, it was believed by a lot of security experts that such crimes cannot be executed without leaving a trace unless there is some internal help involved. And same might be the case in the GameOver Zeus attack, but Demarest denied such claims saying that FBI had dealt with over a 100 major cases of cyber attacks with “less than a handful” of them hinting towards insider assistance.
Cyberattacks are not uncommon anymore. JPMorgan’s credit card hack, last year, affected around 80 million U.S. households, and 7 million small to medium-sized businesses. If we look at consumer devices, we are seeing exploits resulting privacy leaks such as a recently discovered malware in Android that leaks data when the phone is powered off.
Cybersecurity is the need of time as we connect more and more devices to the Internet under the name of “Internet of Things.” Until now, hackers have been exploiting loopholes in the Web and software to steal money and to spy on people, but if we don’t take measures now, these hackers are going to get into our homes along with the “things” connected to the Internet.