26 Jun Russian Criminal Group Finds New Target: Americans Working …
The hackers call themselves “Evil Corp.,” a play off the “Mr. Robot” television series. In December, the Justice Department said they had “been engaged in cybercrime on an almost unimaginable scale,” deploying malware to steal tens of millions of dollars from online banking systems. The Treasury Department placed sanctions on them, and the State Department offered $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the group’s leader.
The indictment is one of many in the past few years against Russian groups, including intelligence agents and the Internet Research Agency, accused of interfering in the 2016 election. Those indictments were intended as a deterrent. But Moscow has protected Evil Corp.’s hackers from extradition, and they are unlikely to stand trial in the United States. In the Treasury Department sanctions announcement, the United States contended that some of the group’s leaders have done work for the F.S.B., the successor to the Soviet K.G.B.
The December indictment and the sanctions both named Maksim V. Yakubets, said by the Treasury Department to be “working for the Russian F.S.B.” three years ago, and “tasked to work on projects for the Russian state, to include acquiring confidential documents through cyber-enabled means and conducting cyber-enabled operations on its behalf.”
Symantec said it had briefed federal officials on the findings, which are echoed by at least one other company monitoring corporate networks. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency did not immediately respond to questions about whether it had seen the same activity, or planned to issue a parallel warning.