According to an article in the Hacker News.com, the author and mastermind of the Zeus Botnet has been arrested in Thailand. Despite his arrest, the criminal smiled throughout the Thai Police press conference.
The Zeus Botnet is one of the most lucrative botnets ever. It infects victim’s computers and steals banking account numbers, passwords, and other such information and then using the Internet, it wires the money in your account to a bank account in Eastern Europe controlled by the botnet owner.
Microsoft, whose Windows operating system was most attacked by this malware, was instrumental in identifying the hacker and having him tracked down in Thailand.
Now, back to the premise of this article…why is this man smiling?
Possibly because he’s thrilled with the global attention he’s getting.
Possibly because he’s worth $US billions, hidden away until he’s served his time in prison, after which he’ll live the life of the mega-rich until he dies of old age (he’s 24 years old).
Possibly, because he’s so wealthy, he’s sure he can beat this charge.
Possibly, all the above. Who knows.
What is known is that his name is “Mr (sic) Bendelladj, who graduated in computer sciences in Algeria in 2008, has allegedly hacked private accounts in 217 banks and financial companies worldwide.” And that he was “arrested at a Bangkok airport en route from Malaysia to Egypt.” “Thai police explained that Thailand will seek to extradite Mr. Bendelladj to the US state of Georgia, where a court has issued a warrant for his arrest.”
I’m glad they caught this guy, but unless he has some secret code that will completely stop the Zeus botnet immediately, we are still threatened by Zeus. It’s been sold to many other cyber crooks and there are many, many instances of the botnet operating around the world, as we speak. It’s also been copied by the cyber underworld and there are many clones of Zeus in operation.
That’s why he’s smiling…because Zeus, his baby, will be wreaking havoc among Internet computer users for the foreseeable future.
It’s somewhat comforting that “Mr. Bendelladj” won’t be creating any more cyber threats for a long while. But this “horse” is already out of the stable, so to speak. This guy’s sentence, if found guilty, should set an example for all the “Mr. Bendelladj’s” to come that the world won’t tolerate cybercrime any more. He should be sent to jail for the rest of his life without parole.
Reference: The Hacker News Article
Be very careful…it’s dangerous out there.
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