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Evil Corp. Indictments Show How Top Cybercriminals Live Large

Charges that U.S. officials have leveled at a Russian group calling itself Evil Corp. may drive home the potential rewards of cybercrime.

russia 1020934 640smallFederal prosecutors recently unsealed an indictment against two Russian nationals, Maksim Yakubets and Igor Turashev, who are alleged to be running the organization. U.S. authorities are offering a reward of up to $5 million for information that leads to the arrest of the two men, according to a recent BBC article. That amount may be small change compared to the vast sums that law enforcement officials accuse Yakubets and Turashev of stealing from others’ bank accounts using malware: an estimated $70 million, according to an ARS Technica article.

Yet, the lifestyle these men allegedly lead appears to illustrate the incentives for those inclined toward cybercrime—and the challenge that information security professionals face in trying to keep hackers out of their data.

Rob Jones is director of the cyber crime unit at the National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom, which is one of 43 countries in which a total of 300 or more organizations have been affected by Evil Corp.’s theft, according to a recent CNN article. Jones said that Yakubets and Turashev ran with a crew that likes to live large. “We’ve been able to identify an online presence for associates of these individuals... which gives you a very good pen portrait of their behavior and the type of lifestyle they lead, which is cash-rich, fast cars, behaving and acting like very flamboyant and extravagant millionaires,” Jones said.

A news release from the NCA even shows Yakubets flaunting his “customized Lamborghini supercar with a personalised number plate that translates to ‘Thief.’”

As The Washington Post concludes, based on the indictments, “Cybercrime definitely pays. At least in the short term. And for the guys at the top.”

In addition to the criminal indictments, the U.S. Treasury Department also announced new sanctions on the Evil Corp. organization.

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