Daily Management Review

Moscow Offices Raids Disrupted Top Cybercrime Ring: Reuters


Moscow Offices Raids Disrupted Top Cybercrime Ring: Reuters
As part of a crackdown on one of the world’s most notorious financial hacking operations, Russian authorities in November raided offices associated with a Moscow film distribution and production company, reports Reuters  quoting three sources with knowledge of the matter.
Since the time of the raid, a password-stealing software program known as Dyre has not been used, say cybersecurity experts. Losses at financial institutions including Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co are attributed to Dyre which resulted in losses for at least tens of millions of dollars. The case represents Russia’s biggest effort to date to crack down on cyber-crime, experts familiar with the situation said.
The Russian Interior Ministry’s cybercrime unit was not involved in the case, a spokesman for the department said. It had no immediate comment said the FSB, Russia’s main intelligence service.
He could not answer questions about the raid said Nikolay Volchkov, the chief executive of the film company named 25th Floor.
Much remains a mystery without an official confirmation. There were no immediate and direct links between the program’s shutdown and the raid.
Reuters reported that it was unable to ascertain further details about the raid including whether there were arrests or criminal charges while quoting sources which said that a number of people were questioned by the authorities. There were however also no evidence Volchkov or the film company is implicated in any wrongdoing and couldn't determine precisely who is.
There is rarely any punishment in Russia for hackers targeting Western financial institutions and individuals. This has made Western cyber-crime watchers to view the November raid as potentially a landmark event.
According to analysts at Dell SecureWorks, in order to manipulate communications between those customers and more than 400 financial institutions the Dyre hackers used a range of tricks to insert sophisticated computer code into consumer Web browsers. Last year Dyre was the most pervasive financial theft software hitting its customers last year, IBM said.
However banking and security experts said that then Dyre stopped spreading.

“We have seen a disruption over the last few months that is definitely consistent with successful law enforcement action,” said cybercrime expert John Miller of U.S.-based security firm iSight Partners.
Kaspersky Lab, a top cyber-security firm is assisting the Dyre investigation in Russia. The company would reveal details about the case at its annual conference for security experts starting Sunday, a person close to the company said, reports Reuters. Kaspersky declined to comment on its conference plans.
Botnet, a cyber-crime thriller loosely based on a 2010 case in which 37 people in the United States and elsewhere were charged in a $3 million scam is being produced by 25th Floor. This adds an intriguing facet to the November raids.
The busting of the 2010 case was touted as a big win against organized cybercrime. As photos circulated of one of the suspects, a blue-eyed Russian brunette named Kristina Svechinskaya, the story was lapped up by tabloid media outlets. Kristina Svechinskaya was referred to as “the world’s sexiest hacker” by The Sun.