The Notorious SpyEye Malware has infected more than 1.4 million computers since 2009
New Delhi, January 30, 2014: Trend Micro, a global security leader, successfully assisted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in prosecution of “SpyEye” malware creator. The Russian man who created the SpyEye Trojan used to attack countless millions of online bank accounts has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in an Atlanta court room. Trend Micro threat defense experts contributed intelligence to the efforts to capture and convict the Russian mastermind.
SpyEye is a premier hackers’ tool, designed expressly to infect computers, and then use them in automated attacks to systematically siphon cash from online banking accounts. It first appeared in 2009 as the upstart rival to the pioneering tool of this sort, known as ZeuS.
“The FBI appreciates the support and assistance of the Trend Micro Forward-looking Threat Research team in the investigation that resulted in the arrest of Aleksandr Andreevich Panin, aka “Gribodemon” and “Harderman,” said FBI Executive Assistant Director Rick McFeely. “Public-private collaborations such as this are critical to successfully addressing the cyber threat and bringing cyber criminals to justice.”
“This arrest shows how security companies, working closely with law enforcement agencies, can deliver results. By going after the cybercriminals themselves instead of their servers, we ensured that permanent damage was done to the whole underground. We believe that this is the way to attack cybercrime and make the Internet safer for all,” said Dhanya Thakkar, Managing Director, India & SAARC, Trend Micro.
Aleksandr Andreevich Panin, was eventually trapped by an FBI sting in which he was fooled into selling the malware to an undercover agent posing as a criminal. Panin was accused of conspiring with co-defendant Hamza Bendelladj, extradited to the US last year, of developing and distributing SpyEye on an ongoing basis between 2009 and 2011.
According to industry estimates, the SpyEye virus has infected more than 1.4 million computers in the United States and abroad, and it was the preeminent malware toolkit used from approximately 2009 to 2011.