US and European police said Thursday they have smashed a huge international cybercrime network that used Russian malware to steal $100 million from tens of thousands of victims worldwide.
Prosecutions have been launched in Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the United States over the scam, while five Russians charged in the US remain on the run, the EU police agency Europol said.
The "organised crime network behind $100 million in malware attacks" targeted "more than 41,000 victims, primarily businesses and their financial institutions," Europol said.
The network used GozNym malware across six countries, including Germany and Bulgaria.
Scott Brady, the US Attorney General for the western district of Pennsylvania where the US indictment was unsealed, said the operation was an unprecedented international effort.
"Unsuspecting European and American victims thought they were clicking on a simple invoice, but were instead giving hackers access to their most sensitive information," Brady added.
The five fugitive Russians included the developer of the malware who "oversaw its creation, development, management and leasing to other cyber criminals", Europol said.
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