Three Eastern Europeans have been indicted on charges they helped orchestrate a bank fraud conspiracy that affected tens of thousands of victims, according to court documents unsealed in New York.
On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced that Nikita Kuzmin, 25, of Russia, the alleged creator of Gozi, a sophisticated trojan that preys on targeted banking customers to steal their login credentials and other private information, admitted to the hacking and fraud charges. He was arrested in the United States in November 2010 and pleaded guilty six months later.
Meanwhile, indictments were unsealed against Deniss Calovskis, 27, also known as “Miami,” who allegedly wrote parts of Gozi's code and was arrested in November in Latvia, and Mihai Paunescu, 28, who used the online alias “Virus." He was arrested last month in Romania.
Since the trojan first appeared in 2005, federal prosecutors estimate it has infected at least 100,000 computers worldwide, including 25,000 in the United States, causing tens of millions of dollars in losses.
Gozi has been used to steal victims' personal bank account information, such as account numbers, usernames and passwords, while lying undetected on compromised machines. Attackers then used the collected data to fraudulently transfer funds from victims' accounts.