Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

British Police Bust Baltic Financial Malware Trio

Men face jail time for using SpyEye malware to steal consumers' online bank account information and launder $157,000. Separately, a TeamPoison hacker awaits sentencing for stealing former U.K. prime minister Tony Blair's online address book.

British police Friday announced that three men from the Baltic States who participated in a financial malware campaign will serve jail time.

Lithuanian national Pavel Cyganok, 28, and Estonian national Ilja Zakrevski, 26, respectively received five- and four-year prison sentences on computer-misuse charges, while Latvian national Aldis Krummins, 45, was sentenced on June 18 to a two-year prison sentence on money laundering charges.

"This complex international investigation concerned the construction and distribution of sophisticated banking Trojans," said detective constable Bob Burls, from the United Kingdom's Metropolitan Police central e-crime unit. "The defendants, during the course of their enterprise, developed a highly organized IT infrastructure to enable their criminality, including in some cases the automatic infection of innocent computer users with their malicious code."

British police said their investigation began after Estonian police alerted them that Zakrevski might be targeting U.K. banking consumers with a version of the SpyEye malware, which is designed to steal people's online banking credentials. Machines infected by SpyEye are also made part of a botnet that can be used to infect further PCs, or to facilitate spam email campaigns.

[ International law enforcement cooperation is critical to stopping financial malware operations. See FBI Busts Massive International Carding Ring. ]

Police said that within days of starting their investigation, they found 1,000 PCs--not only in Britain, but also in Denmark, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, that were connecting to the command-and-control (C&C) servers controlling this particular SpyEye botnet. Next, they discovered that a PC based in Estonia, which linked to an online username used by Zakrevski ("ASAP911") was being used to review the number of infected PCs that were contacting one of the C&C servers. From there, investigators uncovered additional servers, which they were able to link--by using digital forensic techniques--to both Zakrevski and Cyganok.

According to authorities, the two men used credit card data siphoned off of consumers' PCs by SpyEye to pay for additional IT equipment, personal expenses--including car insurance--as well as luxury goods, some of which were later resold via online automation sites. All told, police said the pair used online accounts to launder about $157,000.

Zakrevski had been arrested at his home in Denmark on unrelated charges. After British police issued a European arrest warrant, in July 2011 he was extradited to Britain and charged there. Meanwhile, British police said that at the time they arrested Cyganok--who lives in Birmingham, England--he was actively logged into a number of the C&C servers.

In other hacker-related prosecution news, TeamPoison hacker Junaid Hussain (a.k.a. TriCk), 18, pleaded guilty in British court last week to charges made against him under Britain's Computer Misuse Act 1990, which is the law in Britain typically used to charge people who are suspected of hacking offenses. Hussain was arrested in May 2012 on charges of having stolen former British prime minister Tony Blair's address book, as well as using Skype to swamp Britain's anti-terrorism hotline with bogus calls.

According to court testimony, Hussain obtained Blair's contact details by breaking into a Gmail account used by Katy Kay, a former special advisor to Blair. Hussain's attorney said that his client's activities had been meant as a prank.

Hussain faces sentencing on July 27. British police have said their investigation into activities carried out under the TeamPoison banner remains ongoing.

Your networks may be under attack as you read this, but unless your security personnel are analyzing logs and leveraging common tools that are well known to your network operations teams, you may not find out until it is too late. In our What's Going On?: Monitor Networks To Thwart Intrusions report, we explain how your security and network teams can cooperate and use common tools to detect threats before your databases are compromised. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Data Leak Week: Billions of Sensitive Files Exposed Online
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/10/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Our Endpoint Protection system is a little outdated... 
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12420
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
In Apache SpamAssassin before 3.4.3, a message can be crafted in a way to use excessive resources. Upgrading to SA 3.4.3 as soon as possible is the recommended fix but details will not be shared publicly.
CVE-2019-16774
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
In phpfastcache before 5.1.3, there is a possible object injection vulnerability in cookie driver.
CVE-2018-11805
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
In Apache SpamAssassin before 3.4.3, nefarious CF files can be configured to run system commands without any output or errors. With this, exploits can be injected in a number of scenarios. In addition to upgrading to SA 3.4.3, we recommend that users should only use update channels or 3rd party .cf ...
CVE-2019-5061
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
An exploitable denial-of-service vulnerability exists in the hostapd 2.6, where an attacker could trigger AP to send IAPP location updates for stations, before the required authentication process has completed. This could lead to different denial of service scenarios, either by causing CAM table att...
CVE-2019-5062
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
An exploitable denial-of-service vulnerability exists in the 802.11w security state handling for hostapd 2.6 connected clients with valid 802.11w sessions. By simulating an incomplete new association, an attacker can trigger a deauthentication against stations using 802.11w, resulting in a denial of...