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FBI offers $3 million reward for Russian 'cyber fugitive'

FBI offers $3 million reward for Russian 'cyber fugitive'

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The FBI today announced it's offering a $3 million reward for information leading to the direct arrest or capture of Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, who the bureau is labeling "a prolific cyber criminal" guilty of helping push along the crippling GameOver Zeus botnet. The feds maintain that the botnet was responsible for financial damages exceeding $100 million before it was finally shut down in June of last year.

He's probably not in much trouble over in Russia

"The software was used to capture bank account numbers, passwords, personal identification numbers, and other information necessary to log into online banking accounts," the FBI said in a press release meant to shine an unwanted spotlight on Bogachev. Through sophisticated methods of intrusion, the GameOver Zeus botnet was able to infect over 1 million PCs — a quarter of them inside the US — before law enforcement managed to stop "the most sophisticated botnet" it had ever come up against.

Bogachey is believed to be in Russia, so the FBI can't really pin its hopes on an extradition. He was charged last year for his role as an administrator of the botnet, and federal officials say he was previously indicted under conspiracy to commit bank fraud charges for his connection to an older variant of the Zeus malware. Instead, the bureau is flaunting a lot of cash in the open, likely believing that the reward could put Bogachev in a risky position if and when he exits Russia. The $3 million prize "reaffirms the commitment of the US government to bring those who participate in organized crime to justice, whether they hide online or overseas," the FBI said.