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FBI-Wanted Leader of the Notorious Zeus Botnet Gang Arrested in Geneva

FBI-Wanted Leader of the Notorious Zeus Botnet Gang Arrested in Geneva

November 17, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A Ukrainian national who has been wanted by the U.S for over a decade has been arrested by Swiss authorities for his role in a notorious cybercriminal ring that stole millions of dollars from victims' bank accounts using malware called Zeus . Vyacheslav Igorevich Penchukov, who went by online pseu­do­nyms "tank" and "father," is alleged to have been involved in the day-to-day operations of the group. He was apprehended in Geneva on October 23, 2022, and is pending extradition to the U.S. Details of the arrest were  first reported  by independent security journalist Brian Krebs. Penchukov, along with Ivan Viktorovich Klepikov (aka "petrovich" and "nowhere") and Alexey Dmitrievich Bron (aka "thehead"), was originally charged in the District of Nebraska in August 2012. According to court documents released by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) in 2014, Penchukov and eight other members of the cybercriminal group  infected  &qu
Ukrainian Hacker Jailed for 4-Years in U.S. for Selling Access to Hacked Servers

Ukrainian Hacker Jailed for 4-Years in U.S. for Selling Access to Hacked Servers

May 16, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A 28-year-old Ukrainian national has been sentenced to four years in prison for siphoning thousands of server login credentials and selling them on the dark web for monetary gain as part of a credential theft scheme. Glib Oleksandr Ivanov-Tolpintsev , who pleaded guilty to his offenses earlier this February, was arrested in Poland in October 2020, before being  extradited to the U.S.  in September 2021. The illegal sale involved the trafficking of login credentials to servers located across the world and personally identifiable information such as dates of birth and Social Security numbers belonging to U.S. residents on a darknet marketplace. The unnamed site purportedly offered over 700,000 compromised servers for sale, including at least 150,000 in the U.S. alone. Believed to have been operational from around October 2014, the underground marketplace was seized by law enforcement authorities on January 24, 2019, according to court documents. This exactly coincides with the dism
Ukrainian Hacker Linked to REvil Ransomware Attacks Extradited to United States

Ukrainian Hacker Linked to REvil Ransomware Attacks Extradited to United States

March 10, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Yaroslav Vasinskyi , a Ukrainian national, linked to the Russia-based  REvil ransomware group  has been extradited to the U.S. to face charges for his role in carrying out the file-encrypting malware attacks against several companies, including Kaseya last July. The 22-year-old had been previously arrested in Poland in October 2021, prompting the U.S. Justice Department (DoJ) to  file charges  of conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with computers, damage to protected computers, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Ransomware is the digital equivalent of extortion wherein cybercrime actors encrypt victims' data and take it hostage in return for a monetary payment to recover the data, failing which the stolen information is published online or sold to other third-parties. According to the DoJ, in addition to the headline-grabbing attacks on JBS and Kaseya, REvil is said to have propagated its infection to more than 175,000 computers, netting the
Ukrainian Government Officially Accuses Russia of Recent Cyberattacks

Ukrainian Government Officially Accuses Russia of Recent Cyberattacks

January 17, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The government of Ukraine on Sunday formally accused Russia of masterminding the attacks that targeted websites of public institutions and government agencies this past week. "All the evidence points to the fact that Russia is behind the cyber attack," the Ministry of Digital Transformation  said  in a statement. "Moscow continues to wage a hybrid war and is actively building forces in the information and cyberspace." The purpose of the attack, said the ministry, "is not only to intimidate society," but to also "destabilize the situation in Ukraine by stopping the work of the public sector and undermining the confidence in the government on the part of Ukrainians." Russia, however, has denied it was behind the intrusion. "We have nothing to do with it, and Russia has nothing to do with these cyberattacks," Dmitry Peskov, press secretary for President Vladimir Putin,  told  CNN, adding "We are nearly accustomed to the fact that
Husband-Wife Arrested in Ukraine for Ransomware Attacks on Foreign Companies

Husband-Wife Arrested in Ukraine for Ransomware Attacks on Foreign Companies

January 14, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Ukrainian police authorities have nabbed five members of a gang that's believed to have helped orchestrate attacks against more than 50 companies across Europe and the U.S and caused losses to the tune of more than $1 million. The  special operation , which was carried out in assistance with law enforcement officials from the U.K. and U.S., saw the arrest of an unnamed 36-year-old individual from the capital city of Kyiv, along with his wife and three other accomplices. A total of nine searches across the suspects' homes were carried out, resulting in the seizure of computer equipment, mobile phones, bank cards, flash drives, three cars, and other items with evidence of illegal activity. The Cyber Police of the National Police of Ukraine said the group offered a "hacker service" that enabled financially motivated crime syndicates to send phishing emails containing file-encrypted malware to lock confidential data pertaining to its victims, demanding that the target
U.S. Charges Ukrainian Hacker for Kaseya Attack; Seizes $6 Million from REvil Gang

U.S. Charges Ukrainian Hacker for Kaseya Attack; Seizes $6 Million from REvil Gang

November 09, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. government on Monday charged a Ukrainian suspect, arrested in Poland last month, with deploying REvil ransomware to target multiple businesses and government entities in the country, including perpetrating the attack against software company Kaseya, marking the latest action to crack down on the cybercrime group and curb further attacks. According to unsealed court documents, 22-year-old Yaroslav Vasinskyi is  alleged  to have been part of the ransomware operation at least since March 2019 and deployed about 2,500 attacks against businesses worldwide. Vasinskyi (aka Profcomserv, Rabotnik, Rabotnik_New, Yarik45, Yaraslav2468, and Affiliate 22) was apprehended at the Polish border on October 8 after an international arrest warrant was issued at the behest of U.S. authorities. In another major development, the Justice Department disclosed the seizure of $6.1 million in alleged ransomware payments received by Russian national Yevgeniy Polyanin, who is currently at large and has
Ukraine Identifies Russian FSB Officers Hacking As Gamaredon Group

Ukraine Identifies Russian FSB Officers Hacking As Gamaredon Group

November 05, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Ukraine's premier law enforcement and counterintelligence agency on Thursday disclosed the real identities of five individuals allegedly involved in digital intrusions attributed to a cyber-espionage group named Gamaredon , linking the members to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). Calling the hacker group "an FSB special project, which specifically targeted Ukraine," the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU)  said  the perpetrators "are officers of the 'Crimean' FSB and traitors who defected to the enemy during the occupation of the peninsula in 2014." The names of the five individuals the SSU alleges are part of the covert operation are Sklianko Oleksandr Mykolaiovych, Chernykh Mykola Serhiiovych, Starchenko Anton Oleksandrovych, Miroshnychenko Oleksandr Valeriiovych, and Sushchenko Oleh Oleksandrovych. Since its inception in 2013, the Russia-linked  Gamaredon  group (aka Primitive Bear, Armageddon, Winterflounder, or Iron Tilden) has been re
Ukraine Arrests Operator of DDoS Botnet with 100,000 Compromised Devices

Ukraine Arrests Operator of DDoS Botnet with 100,000 Compromised Devices

October 12, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Ukrainian law enforcement authorities on Monday disclosed the arrest of a hacker responsible for the creation and management of a "powerful botnet" consisting of over 100,000 enslaved devices that was used to carry out distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and spam attacks on behalf of paid customers. The unnamed individual, from the Ivano-Frankivsk region of the country, is also said to have leveraged the automated network to detect vulnerabilities in websites and break into them as well as stage brute-force attacks in order to guess email passwords. The Ukrainian police agency said it conducted a raid of the suspect's residence and seized their computer equipment as evidence of illegal activity. "He looked for customers on the closed forums and Telegram chats and payments were made via blocked electronic payment systems," the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU)  said  in a press statement. The payments were facilitated via WebMoney, a Russian money transfer p
Ransomware Hackers Who Attacked Over 100 Companies Arrested in Ukraine

Ransomware Hackers Who Attacked Over 100 Companies Arrested in Ukraine

October 05, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Law enforcement agencies have announced the arrest of two "prolific ransomware operators" in Ukraine who allegedly conducted a string of targeted attacks against large industrial entities in Europe and North America since at least April 2020, marking the latest step in combating ransomware incidents. The joint exercise was undertaken on September 28 by officials from the French National Gendarmerie, the Ukrainian National Police, and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), alongside participation from the Europol's European Cybercrime Centre and the INTERPOL's Cyber Fusion Centre. "The criminals would deploy malware and steal sensitive data from these companies, before encrypting their files," Europol  said  in a press statement on Monday. "They would then proceed to offer a decryption key in return for a ransom payment of several millions of euros, threatening to leak the stolen data on the dark web should their demands not be met." B
Ukrainian Police Arrest Hacker Who Tried Selling Billions of Stolen Records

Ukrainian Police Arrest Hacker Who Tried Selling Billions of Stolen Records

May 20, 2020Swati Khandelwal
The Ukrainian police have arrested a hacker who made headlines in January last year by posting a massive database containing some 773 million stolen email addresses and 21 million unique plaintext passwords for sale on various underground hacking forums. In an official statement released on Tuesday, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said it identified the hacker behind the pseudonym "Sanix," who is a resident of the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine, but it did not reveal his actual identity to the media. In January last year, the hacker tried to sell the massive 87-gigabyte database labeled as "the largest array of stolen data in history," which, according to security experts, was just a fraction of the stolen data Sanix collected. According to the authorities, Sanix had at least 6 more similar databases of stolen and broken passwords, totaling in terabytes in size, which also included billions of phone numbers, payment card details, and Social Secu
Ukrainian Police Arrest 6 Hackers Linked to DDoS and Financial Attacks

Ukrainian Police Arrest 6 Hackers Linked to DDoS and Financial Attacks

January 17, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Ukrainian Police have this week busted out two separate groups of hackers involved in carrying out DDoS attacks against news agencies and stealing money from Ukrainian citizens, respectively. According to the authorities, the four suspected hackers they arrested last week , all aged from 26 to 30 years, stole more than 5 million Hryvnia (around 178,380 USD) from the bank accounts of Ukrainian citizens by hacking into their computers. The suspects carried out their attacks by scanning vulnerable computers on the Internet and infecting them with a custom Trojan malware to take full remote control of the systems. The group then apparently enabled key-logging on the infected computers in an attempt to capture banking credentials of victims when the owners of those infected computers fill in that information on any banking site or their digital currency wallet. Once getting a hold on the victims banking and financial data, the attackers logged into their online banking accounts
Leader of Hacking Group Who Stole $1 Billion From Banks Arrested In Spain

Leader of Hacking Group Who Stole $1 Billion From Banks Arrested In Spain

March 27, 2018Wang Wei
Spanish Police has arrested the alleged leader of an organised Russian cybercrime gang behind the Carbanak and Cobalt malware attacks, which stole over a billion euros from banks worldwide since 2013. In a coordinated operation with law enforcement agencies across the globe, including the FBI and Europol, Police detained the suspected leader of Carbanak hacking group in Alicante, Spain. Carbanak hacking group started its activities almost five years ago by launching a series of malware attack campaigns such as Anunak and Carbanak to compromise banks and ATM networks, from which they swiped millions of credit card details from US-based retailers. According to the Europol, the group later developed a sophisticated heist-ready banking malware known as Cobalt, based on the Cobalt Strike penetration testing software, which was in use until 2016. "The magnitude of the losses is significant: the Cobalt malware alone allowed criminals to steal up to EUR 10 million per heist,
CEO of Major UK-Based Cryptocurrency Exchange Kidnapped in Ukraine

CEO of Major UK-Based Cryptocurrency Exchange Kidnapped in Ukraine

December 28, 2017Mohit Kumar
Pavel Lerner , a prominent Russian blockchain expert and known managing director of one of the major crypto-exchanges EXMO, has allegedly been kidnapped by "unknown" criminals in the Ukranian capital of Kiev. According to Ukraine-based web publication Strana , Lerner, 40-year-old citizen of Russia, was kidnapped on December 26 when he was leaving his office in the center of town (located on the Stepan Bandera Avenue). Unknown kidnappers in dark clothes and balaclavas dragged Lerner in their black Mercedes-Benz Vito brand (state number AA 2063 MT) car and drove away in an unknown direction. The information comes from an anonymous source in Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, though multiple investigations are currently underway to find out why and by whom Lerner was kidnapped. Lerner is a recognized IT specialist in Ukraine who led a number of startups related to blockchain technology development and mining operations. Lerner is also the managing director of EXMO
Turns Out New Petya is Not a Ransomware, It’s a Destructive Wiper Malware

Turns Out New Petya is Not a Ransomware, It's a Destructive Wiper Malware

June 29, 2017Swati Khandelwal
What if I say the Tuesday's devastating global malware outbreak was not due to any ransomware infection? Yes, the Petya ransomware attacks that began infecting computers in several countries, including Russia, Ukraine, France, India and the United States on Tuesday and demands $300 ransom was not designed with the intention of restoring the computers at all. According to a new analysis, the virus was designed to look like ransomware but was wiper malware that wipes computers outright, destroying all records from the targeted systems. Comae Technologies Founder Matt Suiche, who closely looked the operation of the malware, said after analyzing the virus, known as Petya, his team found that it was a " Wiper malware ," not ransomware. Security experts even believe the real attack has been disguised to divert world's attention from a state-sponsored attack on Ukraine to a malware outbreak. "We believe the ransomware was, in fact, a lure to control the
Dangerous Malware Discovered that Can Take Down Electric Power Grids

Dangerous Malware Discovered that Can Take Down Electric Power Grids

June 12, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Last December, a cyber attack on Ukrainian Electric power grid caused the power outage in the northern part of Kiev — the country's capital — and surrounding areas, causing a blackout for tens of thousands of citizens for an hour and fifteen minutes around midnight. Now, security researchers have discovered the culprit behind those cyber attacks on the Ukrainian industrial control systems. Slovakia-based security software maker ESET and US critical infrastructure security firm Dragos Inc. say they have discovered a new dangerous piece of malware in the wild that targets critical industrial control systems and is capable of causing blackouts. Dubbed " Industroyer " or " CrashOverRide ," the grid-sabotaging malware was likely to be used in the December 2016 cyber attack against Ukrainian electric utility Ukrenergo , which the security firms say represents a dangerous advancement in critical infrastructure hacking. According to the researchers, CrashO
Malware Hijacks Microphones to Spy On Ukrainian Businesses, Scientists and Media

Malware Hijacks Microphones to Spy On Ukrainian Businesses, Scientists and Media

February 21, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Ukraine has once again been a target of a potential hacking attack that infected computer systems from dozens of Ukrainian businesses with highly sophisticated malware, allowing hackers to exfiltrate sensitive data and eavesdrop on their network. Late last year, the country also suffered a power outage caused by the same group of hackers that targeted Ukraine's power grid with the BlackEnergy malware in late 2015, causing 225,000 residents to lose electricity. Now security researchers from threat intelligence firm CyberX have uncovered an advanced malware-based operation that has already siphoned over 600 gigabytes of data from about 70 victim organizations, including critical infrastructure, news media, and scientific research. Operation BugDrop: Damages and Modus Operandi Dubbed " Operation BugDrop ," the large-scale malware campaign has been perpetrated against targets in the Ukraine, though targets from other countries include Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Austr
Ukrainian Hacker Admits Stealing Corporate Press Releases for $30 Million Profit

Ukrainian Hacker Admits Stealing Corporate Press Releases for $30 Million Profit

May 17, 2016Wang Wei
A 28-year-old Ukrainian hacker has pleaded guilty in the United States to stealing unpublished news releases and using that non-public information in illegal trading to generate more than $30 Million (£20.8 Million) in illicit profits. Vadym Iermolovych, 28, admitted Monday that he worked with two other Ukrainian hackers to hack into computer networks at PR Newswire, Marketwired and Business Wire, and steal 150,000 press releases to gain the advantage in the stock market. The defendants then used nearly 800 of those stolen news releases to make trades before the publication of the information, exploiting a time gap ranging from hours to 3 days. The trades would occur in "extremely short windows of time between when the hackers illegally accessed and shared the [news] releases and when the press releases were disseminated to the public by the Newswires, usually shortly after the close of the markets," said the Department of Justice in a press release . Thirty-two pe
Hackers Cause World's First Power Outage with Malware

Hackers Cause World's First Power Outage with Malware

January 05, 2016Swati Khandelwal
SCADA system has always been an interesting target for cyber crooks, given the success of Stuxnet malware that was developed by the US and Israeli together to sabotage the Iranian nuclear facilities a few years ago, and " Havex " that previously targeted organizations in the energy sector. Now once again, hackers have used highly destructive malware and infected, at least, three regional power authorities in Ukraine, causing blackouts across the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine on 23rd December. The energy ministry confirmed it was investigating claims a cyber attack disrupted local energy provider Prykarpattyaoblenergo, causing the power outage that left half of the homes in Ivano-Frankivsk without electricity just before Christmas. According to a Ukrainian news service TSN, the outage was the result of nasty malware that disconnected electrical substations. Related Read: Dragonfly Russian Hackers Target 1000 Western Energy Firms . First Malware to
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