Friday, January 25, 2013

Three charged in Gozi Trojan bank raids

NASA computers among 1 million machines infected by malware used to steal from bank accounts.

United States prosecutors accused three people of creating and distributing a virulent malware which has infected more than a million computers around the world including those operated by the U.S. National Aeronautic Space Administration.

Nikita Kuzmin, 25, or Russia, Deniss Colovski, 27, of Latvia and Mihaj Ionut Paunescu, 28 of Romania, were behind a long-running scam which involved the creation and distribution of the so-called Gozi Trojan that helped cyber criminals siphon millions of dollars from bank accounts from the U.S., Europe and other countries, according to an indictment unsealed on Wednesday.

Alleged mastermind Kuzmin, was arrested in the U.S. back in November 2010 and pled guilty to a number of computer hacking and fraud charges in 2011. Calovski is alleged to have helped in programing Gozi. He was arrested in Latvia in November 2012. Paunescu, is alleged to have provided the hosting service that enabled Kuzmin and other cyber criminals to distribute Gozi and other malware. He was arrested in Romania in December 2012.

U.S. prosecutors are seeking the extradition of Paunescu and Calovski.