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MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) jointly with the Russian Interior Ministry has stopped illegal activities of a computer hacker group involved in the creation, distribution and use of malicious software, the FSB Public Relations Center told TASS on Wednesday.
"Using this software, the perpetrators have stolen more than 1.7 billion rubles ($25.7 mln) from accounts of Russian financial institutions," the FSB said.
Based on the FSB operational materials, the Investigation Department of the Russian Interior Ministry opened a criminal case. Three organizers and 11 main members of a hacker group were detained in Russia’s Sverdlovsk region.
The hackers had been stealing money from bank accounts in Russia and other countries of the CIS by using the Trojan software called Lurk.
"Many pieces of computer equipment, communications equipment, bank cards issued for front persons, as well as financial documents and large cash sums."
Six Russian banks, including Metallinvestbank, Russian International Bank, Metropol and Regnum, fell victims of cybercriminals in March - April 2016, a source close to investigation told TASS on Wednesday.
"Cybercriminals obtained remote access to Metallinvestbank’s systems and transferred funds to accounts under their control," the source said.
680 mln rubles ($10.2 mln) were stolen from Metallinvestbank in total, the source added.
The Kaspersky Lab, a Russian security software maker, and Russia’s largest savings banks Sberbank helped the Interior Ministry and the FSB catch a group cybercriminals, the Kaspersky Lab said in a statement.
By using Lurk the hackers had been stealing money from bank accounts in Russia and other countries of the CIS for five years, according to the statement.
Cybersecurity units of Russia’s top lender Sberbank have prevented hacking attacks on its local branches and subsidiaries, the bank said.
Sberbank said it did not sustain losses caused by actions of cybercriminals and continues assisting law enforcement officers in investigating the criminal case.
The damage caused by persons suspected of cybercrimes in Russia has exceeded 3 billion rubles ($45 million), Interior Ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk told TASS on Wednesday.
"A total of 18 targeted attacks on automatized workplaces of banks’ clients have been made since mid-2015 and the damage from these attacks has exceeded 3 billion rubles," the spokeswoman said.
According to the spokeswoman, the police have prevented possible damage of over 2 billion rubles ($30 million).
The Russian Interior Ministry and FSB have detained 50 hackers, more than 80 searches have been conducted, Volk said.
"The Russian Interior Ministry, together with Russia’s FSB, has detailed 50 persons suspected of multiple thefts of funds from legal entities’ accounts and from corresponding accounts of financial institutions with the use of malicious software," she said, adding that 86 searches have been conducted in 15 Russian territorial entities.
"86 searches in 15 constituent entities of the Russian Federation took place within the framework of the criminal case. Materials were obtained in the course of searches confirming involvement of suspects in creation of bot networks of infected computers, target attacks of infrastructure of credit-financial and government institutions and money thefts," Volk said.
"Fourteen main participants in the group, three of whom are the gang organizers have been detained in the Sverdlovsk region," the FSB said.