Russian police detained 50 members of an alleged criminal ring that hacked the nation’s banks and stole money from client accounts, according to the Interior Ministry.
The suspects were arrested during a joint operation with Russia’s Federal Security Service, a successor to the Soviet KGB, the ministry said in a statement on its website. Searches conducted in 15 regions uncovered proof that the suspects were involved in creating networks of infected computers to attack banks and state entities to steal money, according to the statement. The individual banks weren’t identified.
“As far as I know, this is the largest ever arrest of hackers in Russia,” said Ruslan Stoyanov, head of computer incidents investigation at Kaspersky Lab, which helped to identify the hackers and collect evidence. “Russia is tightening its grip on financial hacking.”
Lenders in Russia have faced 18 targeted attacks since the middle of last year, resulting in more than 3 billion rubles ($45 million) in damage, the ministry said. Police were able to prevent another 2.3 billion rubles in losses, it said.