In the Dark Web world of cyber hackers, “Slavik” achieved legendary stature years ago, then purportedly retired. Instead, authorities say he went on a dazzling crime spree that used more than 1 million infected computers to reach directly into U.S. banks and businesses to steal millions.
The details of Slavik’s handiwork continued to spill out Tuesday after the FBI named him as a leader of a computer crime syndicate that spanned several continents and funneled money around the globe — often without being detected.
The FBI has identified Slavik as Evgeniy Mikhailovitch Bogachev, a Russian national whose whereabouts remain a mystery. Prosecutors say he is responsible for two of the most sophisticated and destructive forms of malicious software in existence — Gameover Zeus and CryptoLocker
His alleged bank heists topped $100 million, including nearly $7 million from a bank in North Florida, $374,000 from a PNC bank account belonging to a plastics company in Pennsylvania, and $190,800 from the bank account owned by an assisted-living facility in Pennsylvania, court papers say.
Bogachev allegedly controlled a vast worldwide network that included computers in Canada, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. But the backbone of the infrastructure resided in the Ukraine, according to a senior U.S. law enforcement official who was not authorized to speak publicly because of the pending court cases.
The operation to dismantle the network began on May 7 in Donetsk and Kiev, Ukraine, two cities convulsing with political violence. Ukrainian police seized and copied key computers in the network, prosecutors said. On Friday, the FBI, working with police around the world, kicked off a 72-hour operation to shut down every command-and-control computer in the Zeus network.
By Saturday, CryptoLocker had ceased working. By Monday, police had freed more than 300,000 computers from the Zeus network.
Bogachev, 30, who lives luxuriously in Anapa, Russia, a beautiful seaside resort town of 60,000 on the northern coast of the Black Sea, and often sails his yacht to various Black Sea ports, remains a fugitive… see more