Microsoft IDs Two Alleged Zeus Botnet Operators

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Microsoft recently identified two men suspected of being responsible for the Zeus botnet family.

"Redmond fingered Yevhen Kulibaba and Yuriy Konovalenko as the two key players behind the botnet in an amended criminal complaint and told the FBI that the two were key to both the botnet itself, and to finding other individuals who were responsible for spreading an operating the malware and laundering the funds it was used to steal," writes The Register's Iain Thomson. "The FBI isn't going to have to look far for the duo however, as they are serving four [year] sentences in British prisons for Zeus-related charges. After they have finished their terms at Her Majesty's pleasure then the US. can join the queue of countries looking to extradite the pair."

"The complaint, originally filed in March, alleges that the men acted as part of a group which harvested user account information," writes V3.co.uk's Shaun Nichols. "The Zeus malware has become a favoured tool of cybercriminals for collecting account credentials and other information from users. The infection allows a remote attacker to directly embed code into local HTML files, giving the attacker the ability to turn otherwise legitimate web pages into phishing tools."

"Microsoft is working with ISPs to help them identify Zeus-infected machines and alert the users about the infection," writes Threatpost's Dennis Fisher.

"Microsoft also revealed that the number of attempts at spreading the Zeus botnet Trojan dropped from 780,000 for one week in March to 336,000 during a week in June," writes Fudzilla's Nick Farrell. "The company said, 'These successful results represent a significant advancement for the people that Microsoft, the financial industry and law enforcement are all focused on protecting as customers and citizens.'"