U.S. announces hacking indictments

Jan. 23, 2013 at 2:38 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. authorities have announced indictments against three Eastern European men who allegedly infected computers worldwide to steal millions of dollars.

The U.S. Justice Department, in indictments unsealed Wednesday in New York, charged the men with using a computer virus dubbed Gozi to infect more than 1 million computers, including some at NASA, to siphon funds from personal bank accounts, The New York Times reported.

Nikita Kuzmin, a Russian national, is accused of developing the virus, while Dennis Calovskis of Latvia is accused of customizing it so it could appear to present a bank's Web page and ask account holders to provide their personal information.

Ionut Paunescu of Romania is accused of hosting command and control servers spreading the virus, shielding them to evade detection, U.S. prosecutors said.

Kuzmin, arrested by federal officers when he visited California in 2010, agreed to cooperate with authorities pursuing the other two men, who were arrested in late 2012 in their home countries and are awaiting extradition.

While most of the computers targeted by the virus were in Europe. Federal law enforcement officials said NASA computers were among the 25,000 devices infected inside the United States.

The said they did not believe sensitive information was stolen from the NASA computers, as the hackers had been motivated by financial gain.

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