The men arrested are suspected of being members of a Moscow-based gang that was going after the bank accounts Russian Nationals, bringing in about $2 million since October 2011. The scheme involved using malware to steal login creditionals for victims’ accounts, to transfer funds to accounts controlled by the gang. About 90 accounts were compromised, and money was also withdrawn from various Moscow ATMs, according to the Russian Interior Ministry.
Police suspect the that ringleaders of the gang are two brothers, aged 29 and 32. They had rented an office under the guise of a legitimate computer business, using it as a front to skim off of the bank accounts. In a raid, police recovered computer equipment, bank cards, roughly $250,000 in cash and various forged documents. The men were charged with theft, computer hacking and malware distribution, and await trial while on house arrest. They all face up to ten years in prison.
Russia and the Ukraine are said to be safe havens for cybercrime. Perhaps the gang wouldn’t have been apprehended if they’d went for the accounts of outsiders, and didn’t target Russian Nationals.
In related legal news in the region, it has been reported that a Russian court has upheld a ban on Scientology literature.