Russian gang used customized virus bought from hacker forum on ATMs
Members of an organized criminal group responsible for infecting ATMs with a computer virus have been arrested in Yakutsk, capital of the far eastern Russian Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) according to the Ministry of the Interior.
The leader of the gang sought the services of a hacker through an international Internet forum. Once recruited the hacker then customized a computer program specifically for the group, so they could use it to target bank accounts through ATMs. The virus cost the gang 100,000 rubles ($3200).
The group's organizer then allocated specific roles to members of the gang. For example, one member who had a job as head of an IT department was recruited to infect the ATMs with the virus, thereby gaining illegal access to unsuspecting customers' bank accounts. The head of the criminal group worked as a system administrator and helped in infecting the ATMs with the malicious program. A third person acted as the mule, receiving stolen money into his bank account where he could then withdraw it.
The criminals managed to infect and gain control of all the ATMs in the city of Yakutsk. However, officers from Department 'K' of the Ministry of the Interior in the Republic of Yakutia apprehended the members of the gang before the plan could be put into full operation.
After arresting the suspected gang members, police officers searched the apartments of the accused and seized items including copies of malicious computer programs, including the virus that had been used to infect the ATMs, unauthorized credit card information, and electronic equipment used in connection with the crime.
Officers of Department ‘K’ have also arrested the hacker accomplice who is said to have developed the virus for the criminals.
All the participants in this case have been detained and charged under Art. 273 of the Criminal Code "Illegal creation, use and distribution of malicious computer programs."
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