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US indicts ‘Evil Corp’ hackers with alleged Russian intelligence ties

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The FBI wanted poster of Maksim Viktorovich Yakubets, a Russian hacker known as ‘aqua’ indicted Thursday for a decade-long cybertheft spree

A Lamborghini-driving Moscow hacker who called his operation Evil Corp and has ties to the FSB Russian intelligence service was indicted by US authorities Thursday for the cybertheft of tens of millions of dollars.

An indictment unsealed in Pittsburgh named Maksim Yakubets and his Evil Corp partner Igor Turashev as the main figures in a group which inserted malware on computers in dozens of countries to steal more than $100 million from companies and local authorities.

The indictment was accompanied by sanctions from the US Treasury on the two men, as well as the announcement of a $5 million reward toward Yakubets’ arrest and conviction — the highest reward ever offered for a cybercriminal.

“Maksim Yakubets allegedly has engaged in a decade-long cybercrime spree that deployed two of the most damaging pieces of financial malware ever used and resulted in tens of millions of dollars of losses to victims worldwide,” said US Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski.

The Treasury said Yakubets specifically worked for the FSB intelligence agency “as of 2017” and was “tasked to work on projects for the Russian state.”

“Evil Corp and their Dridex software serves as yet another example of the Russian government enlisting the assistance of cybercriminals to carry out malign activities,” a Treasury official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

“Today’s action makes absolutely clear that we will not tolerate this type of activity by any government or by any government’s proxies.”

AFP

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