The FBI and the State Department announced a record $3 million reward Tuesday for information leading to the arrest of a Russian accused of executing a sophisticated computer heist that siphoned more than $100 million from American bank accounts.
Evgeniy Bogachev, who is believed to be in Russia, was charged last year and in 2012 with computer crimes. He was already on the FBI’s “Cyber’s Most Wanted” list. The $3 million bounty is the highest ever for an alleged cybercriminal.
The 31-year-old fugitive, who authorities say used the online monikers “lucky 12345” and “slavik,” is accused of deploying malicious software known as GameOver Zeus, which is designed to steal bank account numbers and passwords.
Bogachev and his ring allegedly placed malware on victims’ computers, enabling them to watch from Russia as the malware intercepted account numbers and other information that unwitting victims typed into computers.
The infected computers became part of a global network of compromised machines known as a “botnet,” which cybercriminals can use for their own purposes. With GameOver Zeus, Bogachev allegedly used the botnet to initiate or redirect wire transfers to accounts overseas controlled by criminals.