Russia arrests malware gang suspects

Russia arrests malware gang suspects

Russian police have arrested nine people accused of participation in a massive criminal gang which used malware to steal millions of dollars from financial institutions.

The latest arrests saw suspects from across Russia picked up last month, with the court remanding one in custody, says the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Some 50 alleged gang members had already been arrested last summer during raids that led to the seizure of over 90 items of computer hardware, nearly 4.5 million roubles, and some arms.

Over several years, the gang used malware to set up a network of bots on infected computers to carry out the cyber attacks, targeting accounts belonging to corporate entities as well as correspondent accounts belonging to financial institutions. Sberbank is among the victims.

The scam is thought to have netted over 1.7 billion roubles (about $25 million) from customer accounts with various Russian banks. The crooks also tried to steal another 2.3 billion roubles by issuing false payment instructions which had been blocked, says the government.

Of the original 50 arrested, 19 have been jailed and another 27 charged.

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