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Meet Evil Corp., the Hacker Group Feds Say Stole $100 Million From Banks

December 5, 2019, 5:01 PM UTC

The U.S. Departments of Justice and State have unveiled a pair of indictments against Russian nationals they say led a hacker group responsible for stealing more than $100 million from banks around the world.

That hacker group, known as “Evil Corp.” used a malware called “Dridex,” which circumvented antivirus software, infecting computers and stealing login credentials, before emptying accounts and moving the money to offshore banks.

Evil Corp., a name taken from the show USA Network show Mr. Robot, “operates as a business run by a group of individuals based in Moscow, Russia, who have years of experience and well-developed, trusted relationships with each other,” said the Treasury Department in a press release.

The group reportedly used the Dridex virus, which is distributed via phishing email campaigns, against financial institutions in over 40 countries.

Two members of Evil Corp. have been hit with criminal violations—the leader, 32-year-old Maksim V. Yakubets, aka “aqua,” and 38-year-old Igor Turashev, who helped develop the malware virus.

Yakubets is the main target, though. The State Department is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information that leads to his capture or conviction. That’s the largest reward ever offered for a cybercriminal.

“For over a decade, Maksim Yakubets and Igor Turashev led one of the most sophisticated transnational cybercrime syndicates in the world,” said U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady for the Western District of Pennsylvania in a statement. “These cybercriminals targeted individuals and companies in western Pennsylvania and across the globe in one of the most widespread malware campaigns we have ever encountered.”

The Treasury Department added that Yakubets “also provides direct assistance to the Russian government’s malicious cyber efforts, highlighting the Russian government’s enlistment of cybercriminals for its own malicious purposes.”