Good news but more work to do…
There has been recent news about foreign hackers being apprehended and successfully prosecuted. It might not seem like big news but it is significant when you consider the situations.
One Russian hacker was arrested in Finland and extradited to the US for prosecution. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. After he serves a 46 month sentence in the prison system, he will be deported back to Russia.
This does show that law enforcement is getting smart and is learning how to apprehend and properly prosecute hackers. It is also indicates that criminals aren’t able to hide. Even countries that aren’t friendly to the US will discover that it pays to be a good neighbor. If criminals are allowed to hide in a certain county, that country will not be allowed to participate in the world markets. People will not deal with countries where questionable business practices is the norm.
If you have been hacked with the Wannacry ransomware virus, law enforcement is turning over EVERY stone to find the originator of the virus. Recently, a British researcher who was credited with finding a quick halt for the ramsomware attack was arrested because of his involvement with the Kronos Trojan. This objective of the Kronos malware was to obtain passwords for financial accounts. The suspect was in the US attending the Def Con hacker conference in Las Vegas when he was detained by US authorities. He released and on a short GPS leash waiting for trial. It will be interesting to see if this “hero” had any involvement with the Wannacry virus.
On a side note, consider everyone in the virus business food chain. There is the hacker that determines how to create and write the program to force the computer to do something. You might think that the hacker is the one who makes the big money. The hacker might be a person with computer knowledge that is misused. Many hackers write “toolboxes” that allow others to do the real dirty work. The persons that make the big bucks are the persons who actually execute and launch the virus.
We haven’t heard where the money goes from ransomware extortion attempts. Some hackers do end up with large bank accounts but has all of the illegally obtained funds been accounted for? We might find that the hackers are just little guys who get carried away with their little bit of knowledge. Is there someone else behind the scenes? “Follow the money.” We might be amazed when we hear the whole story and follow the money. Do we really know who is getting rich from malware?