US authorities have captured a further two ZeuS-malware money mule suspects.
Dorin Codreanu and Lilian Adam, both 21-year-old natives of Moldova, were captured in Wisconsin. The arrest ends a month-long man hunt for the pair, named by the FBI on 30 September as among 37 suspects alleged to have set up bank accounts to receive stolen funds from compromised online banking accounts. The accounts were compromised using variants of the infamous ZeuS crimeware toolkit.
Both Codreanu and Adam face bank fraud charges, while Codreanu alone is charged with recruiting other alleged money mules – among them Russian swimsuit stunner Kristina Izvekova, who remains at large.
The duo were named by the FBI as among 17 suspects at large and wanted for questioning* as part of an international investigation into a ZeuS malware ring that also resulted in charges against 11 suspects in the UK and five in the Ukraine. The Ukrainian quintet are alleged to have masterminded the whole scheme.
More commentary on the latest arrests in the case can be found in a blog post by Sophos here.
ZeuS has long been the weapon of choice for cybercrooks due largely to the ease with which Trojans in the ZeuS family can be configured to steal online data. Earlier this year an upstart crimeware toolkit called SpyEye emerged as a serious rival. Recent reports suggest that the coder behind ZeuS, who may be feeling the heat from increased police interest in ZeuS, handed over development duties for his malware baby to the developer of SpyEye. ®
*The arrest of Codreanu and Adam means that altogther four of the ZeuS money mule suspects have been arrested by US authorities. A further two turned themselves in while 11 remain on the lam. ®