By Rachel Kraus
Sometimes life imitates cheesy, pulpy Cold War-era art. And when it does, it’s truly amazing.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has sanctioned and indicted members of a Russian cybercrime organization responsible for stealing $100 million from account holders at U.S. and international banks, it announced in a press release Thursday.
The group is called — wait for it — Evil Corp.
Evil Corp (omg!) developed malware called Dridex that allows it to scrape banking login credentials from devices infected by successful phishing schemes. It then uses the login credentials to steal cash, transfer it to “money mules” (individual bank accounts), that then transfer it to Evil Corp accounts. Step 1: Create Evil Corporation. Step 2: Profit!
The action involves “designating” Evil Corp as an official cybercrime organization; this is basically the U.S. government saying “we see you, and we are NOT pleased.” It has also indicted two Russian individuals on the Evil Corp leadership team and has a $5 million reward out for Evil Corp’s (still not over it) leader, a guy named Maksim Yakubets.
The feds are especially interested in Yakubets because the sanction now officially ties him not just to Evil Corp, but to the Russian government. He was working for the Russian intelligence service, the FSB, in 2017, and has since been tasked with doing projects for them.
The FSB has also been designated as an up-to-no-good cybercrime organization — that just happens to be run by the state. Thank you, Russia, for always living up to your James Bondian villain image in spectacular fashion.