An international cybercriminal network responsible for stealing £77 million from thousands of victims has been taken down.
In excess of 41,000 victims, primarily financial institutions and businesses, were affected by the gang’s exploits, according to European police agency Europol.
Police services from a number of countries, including the US, Germany and Ukraine, carried out an “unprecedented” investigation that resulted in 10 members of the GozNym network being arrested.
Details of the operation were unveiled at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague. The European police agency said the gang “exemplified the concept of ‘cybercrime as a service,'” and offered a host of criminal services such as bulletproof hosters, money mule networks, crypters, spammers, coders and even technical support for customers.
Five Russian nationals are still at large following the operation, including the individual responsible for developing and overseeing the deployment of the GozNym malware used by the gang.
GozNym is a combination of two types of malware, Gozi and Nymaim. The latter is designed specifically to covertly insert and install malware onto a device and has proven a popular choice for cybercriminals seeking to launch ransomware attacks.
The gang is accused of infecting victims’ computers with GozNym malware to capture online banking login credentials. Using these captured credentials the gang was able to gain access to victims’ online bank accounts and steal money.
Stolen funds were launders using US and foreign beneficiary bank accounts controlled by the defendants, Europol said.
Victims of the gang included hundreds of small businesses, law firms, non-profit organisations and large companies.
In a statement, Europol said that the operation’s success was “a result of the international law enforcement cooperation between participating EU Member States, as well as Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the United States.”
“This operation showcases how an international effort to share evidence and initiate criminal prosecutions can lead to successful operations in multiple countries,” Europol added.