A criminal who belongs to a gang that stole $30.7 million (£20 million) has been arrested. The remaining members of the gang which uses malicious software to capture banking details of people are on the run; global law enforcement authorities hotly in pursuit.
The name of the malware which is thought to have been developed in Eastern Europe is called Dridex. It is capable of capturing online bank details of people. National Crime Agency which is one of the investigating authorities said that the main target of this malware includes Global financial institutions and several online payment systems.
NCA said on Tuesday that thousands of Brits have been affected by Dridex. For the malware to work, the hacker sends some documents which include the malware to your computer. When you click on the link, the malware automatically gets downloaded into your computer. The main computer users affected are those using Microsoft’s Windows OS, said NCA.
Dridex malware does not target UK users only. In fact, it is thought to be responsible for the losses of more than $100 million worldwide.
The operation to apprehend the Dridex culprits involved NCA, UK’s intelligence service GCHQ, CERT-UK, FBI, German and Moldovan authorities and Europol.
In this well coordinated operation, Andrey Ghinkul, aged 30 who is from Moldova was arrested. Among the charges he is facing include unauthorized access to a computer with the intention of defrauding and damaging a computer. He also faces bank and wire fraud charges by US authorities. In total, he faces a nine-count indictment of criminal conspiracy. Whereas the hacker’s arrest was only announced this week, he has been in custody since August. The US seeks his extradition.
According to the US Department of Justice, the indictment states that Ghinkul together with his accomplices used Dridex to steal banking details of people. They then used the stolen information to initiate electronic funds transfer amounting to millions of dollars from their victims’ accounts to money mules. Finally the criminals then transferred the stolen funds to the accounts of other corroborators.