US and European police said Thursday they have smashed a huge international cybercrime network that used Russian malware to steal USD 100 million (89 million euros) from tens of thousands of victims worldwide.
The cyber gang used GozNym malware to infect victims' computers, steal their online banking login details and then siphon money from their accounts.
The stolen money was then laundered in US and other accounts.
"Unsuspecting European and American victims thought they were clicking on a simple invoice, but were instead giving hackers access to their most sensitive information," Brady added.
The alleged leader of the GozNym criminal network, Alexander Konovolov, 35, of Tbilisi, who goes by the online name "NoNe", was arrested in the former Soviet state of Georgia, the US Department of Justice said.
Konovolov recruited hackers who advertised their services on "Russian-speaking online criminal forums", and eventually controlled the malware-infected computers of more than 41,000 victims, Europol said.
The five Russians charged in the US included the alleged developer of the malware, identified as Vladimir Gorin, but they cannot be extradited because Russia does not send suspects abroad.
Gorin "oversaw its creation, development, management and leasing to other cyber criminals" including the Georgian alleged leader of the group, Europol said.
One of the Russians, Viktor Eremenko, was arrested in Sri Lanka at the request of US authorities in 2017 but "through the intervention of the Russian government" was freed on bail, after which he fled to Russia.
Ukrainian police meanwhile arrested Gennady Kapkanov, 36, also known as "firestarter", on suspicion of hosting a so-called "Avalanche" network that provided services to more than 200 cybercriminals including the Georgians.
He allegedly fired an assault rifle through the door of his apartment at police, the DOJ said.
Europol announced the smashing of the Avalanche network in a major operation in 2016, saying that it had infected half a million computers in 188 countries.
The latest operation was a follow-up from that, Europol said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)