Police expose ‘world’s most harmful cyber crime group’ Evil Corp

Two members of the notorious Russian hacking group Evil Corp have been indicted in the US following an international law enforcement operation.

Maksim Yakubets from Moscow and Igor Turashev from Yoshkar-Ola have been charged in relation to computer hacking and bank fraud schemes that netted the gang hundreds of millions of pounds over the last 10 years.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) described Evil Corp as “the world’s most harmful cyber crime group” due to the sophistication of the hacks and the global scale of their operation.

An unprecedented collaboration between the NCA, FBI and National Cyber Security Centre began in 2014 in an attempt to uncover the perpetrators behind the hugely effective Dridex malware.

“The significance of this group of cyber criminals is hard to overstate; they have been responsible for campaigns targeting our financial structures with multiple strains of malware over the last decade,” said Lynne Owens, director general of the NCA.

“We are unlikely to ever know the full cost, but the impact on the UK alone is assessed to run into the hundreds of millions. It is our assessment that Maksim Yakubets and Evil Corp – the cyber crime group he controls – represent the most significant cyber crime threat to the UK.”

US treasury officials described Evil Corp as “one of the biggest hacking groups ever”, while the department also announced a $5m (£3.8m) bounty for information leading to the capture of Yakubets.

“Treasury is sanctioning Evil Corp as part of a sweeping action against one of the world’s most prolific cybercriminal organisations,” said US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.

“Our goal is to shut down Evil Corp, deter the distribution of Dridex, target the ‘money mule’ network used to transfer stolen funds, and ultimately to protect our citizens from the group’s criminal activities.”

FBI deputy director David Bowdich added: “The FBI, with the assistance of private industry and our international and US government partners, is sending a strong message that we will work together to investigate and hold all criminals accountable.

“Our memory is long and we will hold them accountable under the law, no matter where they attempt to hide.”


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