Government agents seized control of two computer networks that are used by hackers to steal banking information and lock files on infected computers, officials in the United States and Europe said Monday, disrupting the circulation of two of the world’s most pernicious viruses, which have infected millions of computers worldwide.
The coordinated strike targeted malware known as GameOver Zeus, which is known to steal bank information and send it to overseas hackers, and CryptoLocker, which burrows into computers and encrypts personal data. The hackers then demand a ransom to unlock the files.
Over the weekend, government agents in Europe and the United States took control of the servers that operated the attacking software and identified a 30-year-old suspect from Russia, Evgeniy Bogachev, also known as Lucky12345, as the man behind the attacks, according to court documents..
The Justice Department held a news conference Monday afternoon to discuss the operation. Europol, the European Union’s police intelligence agency, said Mr. Bogachev would be placed on the F.B.I.'s list of most-wanted cyber criminals, beside the Chinese officials whom the United States accused last month of economic espionage.