cybercrime

Pittsburgh FBI Taking ‘Megabyte’ Out of Cybercrime

The Pittsburgh office of the FBI, along with help a Carnegie Mellon University center and a nonprofit, have taken down the Gameover Zeus cyber theft botnet.

As technology develops, cybercrime gets smarter. Thusly, law enforcement must adapt to stop global hackers from carrying out their schemes.

The Pittsburgh office of the FBI has done just that.

Teaming up with a Carnegie Mellon University center and a nonprofit training alliance, the Pittsburgh FBI has taken down the GameOver Zeus cyber theft network, Officer.com reported. The group managed to stop Russian hacker Evgeniy Bogachev and “five Chinese cybersoldiers” from continuing the GameOver Zeus scheme.

According to the FBI, the GameOver Zeus software “is an extremely sophisticated type of malware designed specifically to steal banking and other credentials from the computers it infects.”

Unbeknownst to their rightful owners, the infected computers become part of a global network of compromised computers known as a botnet — a powerful online tool that cyber criminals can use for their own nefarious purposes. In the case of GameOver Zeus, its primary purpose is to capture banking credentials from infected computers, then use those credentials to initiate or re-direct wire transfers to accounts overseas that are controlled by the criminals.

Multiple outlets have reported that GameOver Zeus is responsible for more than $100 million in losses to those who have fallen victim to the botnet.

But why is Pittsburgh leading the way in fighting cybercrime?

Pittsburgh has become the arsenal of cybersecurity because it is home to CMU’s Software Engineering Institute with its 260-person CERT cyberteam, and because the FBI placed a nonprofit training alliance here, assigning a data warrior to its helm. Add U.S. Attorney David Hickton and his enthusiastic e-prosecutors, and the city is wired for battle.

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