US Offers Record Bounty for a Hacker

Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev accused of leading Zeus gang
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2015 3:13 AM CST
Bogachev is seen in this photo from the FBI's wanted poster.   (FBI)
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(Newser) – The FBI is offering a record-breaking $3 million reward for information leading to the arrest of a Russian hacker accused of infecting up to a million computers with software that stole passwords and sucked at least $100 million out of bank accounts. Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, whose online aliases include "lucky12345″ and "slavic," is accused of running what the FBI calls a "tightly knit gang of cybercriminals" that created a botnet called "GameOver Zeus," Ars Technica reports. The FBI's wanted poster lists more than a dozen charges against him, including racketeering, identity theft, fraud, and money laundering. The previous biggest reward for a cybercriminal was the $1 million offered for Romanian eBay scammer Nicolae Popescu, reports Vocativ.

Bogachev and his gang were also behind the "Cryptolocker" ransomware that held files on a user's computer hostage until they paid up, authorities say. "Although we were able to significantly disrupt the GameOver Zeus and Cryptolocker criminal enterprise, we have not yet brought Bogachev himself to justice," a Justice Department spokeswoman says. Bogachev is believed to still be in Russia, and even with the reward, it may be hard to arrest him because there is no extradition treaty with the US, reports the BBC. (Another hacker says he was busted after using his cat's name as his password.)

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