Home Malware Ukranian behind global Zeus malware operation finally caught

Ukranian behind global Zeus malware operation finally caught

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As per security journalist Brian Krebs, a Ukrainian national identified as Vyacheslav Igorevich Penchukov has been arrested by Swiss law enforcement agencies. The suspect was nabbed for his involvement in cybercrime especially the infamous Zeus malware.

The suspect used the nickname Tank and Father. He was arrested on 23 October 2022 from Geneva and is awaiting extradition to the USA, reported Krebs.

About Zeus

For your information, Zeus is a banking trojan created by an unknown individual known by the handle lucky12345. The devices infected by this highly adaptable malware can be included in an army of a botnet to launch distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS attacks).

The FBI wanted Penchukov on cybercrime charges for more than a decade. He was a member of one of the most notorious cybercrime gangs dubbed JabberZeus. In their malicious campaigns, the cybercriminals stole over $70 million from innocent victims’ bank accounts. 

The gang, which the US Department of Justice referred to as a wide-ranging racketeering enterprise, used Zeus malware for their operations. Reportedly, Penchukov was in a western Ukrainian city called Uzhgorod before Russia invaded the country. He traveled with fake identification details and was in Geneva at the time of his arrest, where he came to meet his wife.

It is worth noting that the suspect was charged in Nebraska back in August 2012 along with Ivan Viktorovich Klepikov, known by the nick “nowhere” and “petrovich,” and Alexey Dmitrievich Bron, also known as “thehead.” 

Details of Charges

In 2014, the US Department of Justice released court documents that revealed Penchukov worked with eight gang members. Together they infected countless business computers with Zeus malware to steal account numbers, passwords, and other sensitive data to hack bank accounts and siphon funds from the victims’ accounts.

They were charged for their role in a botnet-based campaign in which they collected targeted users’ bank account login credentials using Zeus malware and drained funds from their accounts. The gang sent the money outside the USA via an extensive network of money mules.

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