Hackers Wanted in the U.S. for Spreading Gozi Virus Arrested in Colombia

Colombian authorities on Wednesday reported they have arrested a Romanian hacker who is wished in the U.S. for distributing a virus that infected extra than a million computers from 2007 to 2012.

Mihai Ionut Paunescu (aka “Virus”), the individual in concern, was detained at the El Dorado airport in Bogotá, the Office of the Lawyer Common of Colombia reported.

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Paunescu was formerly billed by the U.S. Division of Justice (DoJ) in January 2013 for running a bulletproof web hosting service that “enabled cyber criminals to distribute the Gozi Virus, the Zeus Trojan and other infamous malware, and carry out other subtle cyber crimes.” He was arrested in Romania in December 2012 but managed to keep away from extradition to the U.S.

“By this support, Paunescu, like other bulletproof hosts, knowingly supplied critical on the web infrastructure to cyber criminals that permitted them to dedicate on the internet legal exercise with tiny fear of detection by regulation enforcement,” the DoJ stated in an unsealed indictment.

Gozi Virus Hacker Arrested in Colombia

Gozi (aka ISFB, Snifula, or Ursnif), a Windows-centered banking trojan, experienced its roots courting as much back as 2005 prior to its deployment in genuine-environment assaults in 2007. At minimum 40,000 personal computers in the U.S., which include people belonging to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), are explained to have been contaminated with the virus.

Germany, Terrific Britain, Poland, France, Finland, Italy, and Turkey are the other countries where Gozi infections ended up documented.

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In May well 2016, Gozi’s primary developer, a Russian citizen named Nikita Kuzmin, was sentenced to 37 months in jail and fined $7 million above fees of computer intrusion and fraud for leading to “tens of tens of millions of bucks in losses” to folks, enterprises, and governing administration entities. The malware was rented out to other prison operators in exchange for $500 a week.

Gozi Virus Hacker Arrested in Colombia

Independently, Deniss Calovskis, a Latvian countrywide who formulated “internet injects” so as to empower Gozi to surreptitiously obtain data entered by buyers on banking web-sites, landed a 21-month jail time period in January 2016 for his co-conspiratorial part in the fraudulent plan.

Even with these regulation enforcement attempts, Gozi, on the other hand, proceeds to be an at any time-evolving malware that has because morphed from a simple banking trojan into a modular malware content material delivery system, with cybersecurity organization Check Stage uncovering “modern day derivatives” that had been actively employed in malicious campaigns as of August 2020.

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