Last week, the RSA revealed that cybercriminals were trying to convince around 100 botmasters to take part in a massive fraud campaign against the customers of some 30 banks from the United States. Now, an individual claiming to be the project’s mastermind has revealed his identity.
Journalist Brian Krebs, who is highly familiar with the cybercriminal underground, uncovered
a number of posts published by a Russian hacker called vorVzakone
. At the beginning of September, the cybercriminal announced an operation – Project Blitzkrieg
- that would leverage a Trojan dubbed Gozi Prinimalka.
In his posts
underscores the fact that financial institutions from the United States have implemented far weaker security mechanisms to protect wire transfers, compared to banks from Europe that usually require two-factor authentication for sensitive operations.
He wants to start the malicious operation preferably before the spring of 2013, and before US banks start rolling out more effective wire transfer security systems.
The hacker even published a video
to demonstrate how the project would involve flooding victim phone lines in order to prevent them from learning that they’re being robbed.
However, there might be more to this than meets the eye. On September 24, vorVzakone
published a video on YouTube
in which he introduced himself and another famous Russian hacker known as NSD
As expected, many actors from the underground scene have started wondering why a cybercriminal whose entire activity relies on him remaining anonymous would say his name, show his face and even his vehicle.
A couple of weeks later, vorVzakone
– who claims to be a fellow named Sergey – came forward with another statement to clarify why he revealed his identity. He claims that Russian hackers can target the customers of US banks without having to worry about the consequences as long as they can hide their identity during the actual money theft.
Then, he went on advertising a service that could aid any hacker in avoiding jail time. He says that anyone with $40,000 (30,000 EUR) can escape being prosecuted by leveraging his “insurance from criminal prosecution” services.
The highly advertised service apparently mostly relies on bribing investigators, police chiefs, lawyers and prosecutors.
Of course, many believe that this entire vorVzakone
story may just be a scheme initiated by Russian law enforcement in an attempt to unmask cybercriminals.