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US Accuses Russian Hacker in Huge Computer Scam

  • VOA News

The U.S. Justice Department has accused a Russian computer hacker of leading an international operation targeting hundreds of thousands of computers with malware that allowed hackers to steal more than $100 million from unsuspecting victims.

Justice Department lawyer Leslie Caldwell, chief of the department's criminal division, identified the ringleader as Evgeniy Bogachev, who remains at large. She said hacker gang members from Russia, Ukraine and Britain infected computers with software that captured passwords and account numbers.

Its victims included an American Indian tribe, an insurance company and a corporation that runs assisted living centers.

Bogachev was named in a single indictment Monday, charged with conspiracy, computer fraud and money laundering. He is not in custody, and Russia does not extradite accused criminals to other countries.

He was named in connection with a single victim, a Pennsylvania plastics firm, where he and other conspirators are alleged to have stolen more than $800,000 from the company's bank accounts in one day in 2011.

Ukrainian authorities are reported to have seized servers in Kyiv and Donetsk. The Justice Department said U.S. and other agents worked in recent days to seize other servers around the world, freeing about 300,000 victim computers from the malicious software so far.