FBI offers US$ 3m bounty for Gameover Zeus kingpin

News by Doug Drinkwater

The FBI is offering a US$ 3 million (£1.93 million) reward for information that leads to the arrest of Russian hacker Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, who is accused of being behind the Gameover Zeus botnet.

Gameover Zeus was famously dismantled by the FBI and Europol in July, but for a period of four years was used by cyber-criminals to infect around a million PCs in order to steal a claimed US$ 100 million from businesses and consumers.

Bogachev, allegedly the kingpin behind the botnet, has remained elusive ever since the take-down although new variants of Zeus have started to emerge.

A grand jury in Pittsburgh, USA,  has unsealed a 14-count indictment against Bogachev – known online as “slavik”, “lucky12345” and “Pollingsoon”  – which charges him with conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud, computing hacking and money laundering. The bounty represents the biggest ever offered by US authorities in a cyber-crime case.

"This reward offer reaffirms the commitment of the US Government to bring those who participate in organised crime to justice, whether they hide online or overseas," the US Department of State said in a statement.

The FBI has placed Bogachev on its most-wanted cyber list and believes that he is still living in Russia.

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