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Crime Botnet Security News

US, NY Bust 92 Mules In 'ZeuS Trojan' Crime Ring 97

Following on the 19 ZeuS botnet arrests in the UK, adeelarshad82 and other readers sent word that US and New York officials have unsealed more than 90 indictments of money mules and others accused of helping siphon more than $3M from 5 banks and dozens of individuals, and sending it overseas. The Manhattan US Attorney announced charges against 37 individuals and New York charged 55. Most of those indicted are foreign students who came to the US on exchange visitor visas. Most are from Russia, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, or Belarus. Here is the FBI's lengthy press release. A security blogger has put up Facebook party photos of some of the indicted individuals who are still at large.
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US, NY Bust 92 Mules In 'ZeuS Trojan' Crime Ring

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  • by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @08:20PM (#33754650)
    Even assuming most of these folks won't get anywhere near the full value of their withdrawl, for most of them it was likely the only way that they could get enough money to get overseas, possibly actually get some study done and maybe after their work was done, have a chance to start life in their shitty little eastern european countries.

    I have a good few friends in eastern europe. Trust me when I say that life is crap and opportunities are few and far between. While I certainly don't support or encourage crime like this, I can empathize with them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2010 @08:33PM (#33754714)

    419 scams/Advance Fee Fraud - Nigeria/West Africa
    Bots, Trojans, Crimeware, E-Crime - Eastern Europeans
    Financial Fraud, Pyramid Schemes, GRQ/WFH Scams, email spam - United States
    Email Spam, counterfeit products - China

    i know stereotypes are supposed to be bad but there is definitely a pattern appearing
    is it the culture ? education ? DNA ?

    why do certain countries citizens seem to be attracted towards certain types of crime ?
    the amount of effort they put in its such a shame they couldnt create the next Ebay or Amazon, the web is supposed to be a level playing field and yet with all that effort they still choose crime

  • by symes ( 835608 ) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @08:38PM (#33754732) Journal
    Communities of expertise - once a few people get going, networks develop, success motivates others, and so on. Just like banking tends to be highly localised in a few places.
  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @08:56PM (#33754820) Homepage Journal

    Why would bright and honest students want to study here? The education level and challenges tend to be higher in good overseas universities.
    I can see that for some, it may be attractive to pay a small fortune to go to a US university and sail through to an easy degree, but then again, a US degree isn't worth much anymore, at least not outside the US.

    If I were to hire you, you'd do much better to include a reference to something you'd published than your degree, unless you went to a university you cannot buy admission to.

  • by mirix ( 1649853 ) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @09:26PM (#33754988)

    Yeah, I suppose that could be true. I'm not amazingly familiar with russian prices (never been there.. yet!) but I've found cost of food and similar staples to be much cheaper in Serbia than in my home (canada), and presume a fair bit of that carries over.

    You're right, cars are definitely more expensive. I'm not sure if they still have tariffs on imported vehicles (which are based off an external prices, still..)
    Of course.. domestic vehicles are rather cheap, if you want one ;)
    Last time in serbia, a yugo was $6k or so tax paid, and around $9k for a lada niva.

    But I think the bare necessities (food, shelter) and definitely sin things (liquor, cigs) are /far/ cheaper. I can get a carton of cigs in serbia for less than a pack costs in Canada ;-)
    Luxuries, especially western made ones, are definitely not affordable though. But.. caviar is cheaper.. go figure.

    One thing I really like about east europe that all but disappeared in the west is.. one man operation stores.. and... repairing things! Imagine that.. fixing electronics, shoes, whatever... which becomes economical with lower wages, I suppose.

  • by insufflate10mg ( 1711356 ) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @09:28PM (#33754998)
    Though the falling 0's and 1's were first popularized in The Matrix, hackers have been using the falling 0's and 1's for years and years before that.
  • Err.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by toby ( 759 ) * on Thursday September 30, 2010 @10:59PM (#33755452) Homepage Journal

    What's "legal" about Microsoft?! Convicted multiple times in anti-trust actions. Never out of the courts. [] Lost thousands of smaller cases.

    Gates hasn't got an honest bone in his body, all his reputation laundering notwithstanding.

  • by Dodgy G33za ( 1669772 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:05AM (#33756378)
    Dunno what it is like in the US, but in Australia we have a large overseas student population since they tend to get residency when they complete their courses. Used to apply for just about any course run by any shonky provider but they have tightened it recently. Not that I am saying it is a bad policy - getting bright people migrating once they have reached working age is actually a pretty smart way to run migration.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:41AM (#33756628)

    I met quite a few people here in LA who claim to do similar online crimes (identity theft). What I find a funny coincidence is that they are all Easter European (majority Russians) but they seem to make GOOD money. Always dressed in the most expensive brands with the latest gadgets and 60k+ cars.

    There are a couple of Russian black market websites that you need to be verified by three other people to join. You can buy anything from emailing lists to bank accounts. They will usually buy black AMEX for less than $5 each and use that to order very expensive products (like a $2k special edition cell phone). They will then sell those products on ebay for half the price but still making a huge profit on each transaction. Obviously their method is flawed so I asked them "How are you so sure you won't get caught?". Their reply seems to be the same for all of them, "The FBI has bigger fish to catch"!

    What scares me the most is that they have friends working at legitimate brand stores who copy your CC once you buy something from them and those stores are in WEST LA.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp