SpyEye Malware Hackers Sentenced; Caused Nearly $1 Billion in Losses

Two of the hackers behind the infamous SpyEye malware attack were sentenced last week to a combined 24 years in prison. The attack was responsible for nearly $1 billion in losses in the financial industry around the world, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Aleksandr Andreevich Panin of Russia and Hamza Bendelladj of Algeria were perhaps more widely known by their online handles, Gribodemon and Bx1. Under those aliases, the two men helped develop and distribute the virulent software, which at one point was the preeminent banking malware Trojan in the world.

The Biggest Trojan in the World

SpyEye was used by a global syndicate of cybercriminals to infect more than 50 million machines between 2010 and 2012, according to the government. ?EU?It is difficult to [overstate] the significance of this case, not only in terms of bringing two prolific computer hackers to justice, but also in disrupting and preventing immeasurable financial losses to individuals and the financial industry around the world,?EU? said John Horn, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, in a statement.

The FBI said the arrest and prosecution of the two men had effectively reduced the threat to users of falling victim to SpyEye to zero. The malware was designed to automate the theft of confidential personal and financial information, such as online banking credentials, credit card information, usernames, passwords, PINs, and other personally identifying information.

SpyEye functioned by secretly infecting victims?EU? computers, enabling cybercriminals to remotely control the infected machines through command and control servers.

Once a computer was infected and under the hackers' control, cybercriminals remotely accessed the infected computers, without authorization, and stole victims?EU? personal and financial information through a variety of techniques, including Web injects, keystroke loggers, and credit card grabbers. The victims?EU? stolen personal and financial data...

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