A Joint Investigative Team (JIT) took down a major Ukrainian-based cybergang in June, Europol said Thursday. Between June 18 and 19 authorities arrested five members of an alleged gang that has been accused of infecting tens of thousands with malware and banking trojans.
The goal of the JIT was to target high-level cybercriminals suspected of developing, exploiting and distributing Zeus and SpyEye malware along with their accomplices, according to a release. The gang targeted several major banks across the continent, modifying their trojans over time to defeat the banks' security protocols and using “mule networks” to launder money.
Each member of the gang had a specialty and the group as a whole was involved in trading stolen credentials, bank account information, malware, and hacking services for hire in underground fraudster forums. Officials said the cybercriminals have caused damages estimated at more than two million euro.
Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol, said in the release that the event was “one of the most significant operations coordinated by the agency in recent years.”
The takedown was part of an ongoing cybercrime initiative launched by Europol in 2013 that has resulted in 60 arrests to date. The investigation involved authorities from Austria, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and is supported and coordinated by Europol and Eurojust.