Two Romanian hackers Bogdan Nicolescu, 36, and Radu Miclaus, 37, belonging to Bayrob group convicted for infecting 400,000 computers around the world with malware and for stealing millions of dollars.
They have been convicted by a federal jury today for 21 counts related to infecting victims computer with malware to exfiltrate the credit card details and sold them in dark web, mining cryptocurrency and for online frauds.
“According to trial and court documents, Nicolescu, Miclaus, and a co-conspirator who pleaded guilty, collectively operated a criminal conspiracy from Bucharest, Romania.”
They developed the malware in 2007, and then deliver the malware through phishing emails that pose to be from Western Union, Norton AntiVirus and the IRS.
When users open’s the attachment, the malware gets installed to the system and harvest email addresses from the infected computer. The gang controlled 400,000+ botnet for cryptocurrency mining.
By having control over the computer they exfiltrate personal information, credit card information, user names, and passwords. They also disable antivirus software in victims and block law enforcement agencies websites.
The defendants used stolen email credentials to copy a victim’s email contacts. They also activated files that forced infected computers to register email accounts with AOL. The defendants registered more than 100,000 email accounts using this method.
“They then sent malicious emails from these addresses to the compromised contact lists. Through this method, they sent tens of millions of malicious emails,” reads Department of Justice press release.
By having control over the system, if a user visits pages such as Facebook, PayPal, eBay or others they intercept the request and redirect them phishing sites to grab login credentials.
They use to infect fake pages in trusted websites such as eBay to make victims believe that they getting instructions from a legitimate source.
Also, they use to place fraudulent listings for automobiles, motorcycles and other high-priced goods on eBay that delivers malware.
Symantec has exposed the group, gaining insight into its key players, tactics, malware, and the potential impact and criminal activity undertaken.
“The Bayrob group laundered this money by hiring “money transfer agents” and created fictitious companies with fraudulent websites designed to give the impression they were actual businesses engaged in legitimate financial transactions.”