Washington - The US Justice Department announced a major initiative Monday in conjunction with global law enforcement partners, shutting down a massive spybot network that gleaned more than 100 million dollars from victims.
While the Gameover Zeus network and the Cryptolocker malware scheme have been disabled for now, the alleged mastermind behind them, identified as Russian fugitive Evgeniy Bogachev, could reconstitute his system in a matter of weeks, the Justice Department said.
In a press conference, the US Justice Department said Bogachev was last known to be residing in Anapa, Russia.
It said the now-disabled Gameover Zeus malware had infiltrated victims' computers largely through phishing emails and searched for financial information, which was used to divert money from their accounts.
The Cryptolocker scheme took victims' computers hostage until the computer owner agreed to pay a ransom directly to them.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said the actions against the networks had been taken in conjunction with authorities in Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ukraine and Britain and had been coordinated at the European Cybercrime Centre in The Hague, Netherlands.