Private life of world's most wanted cybercriminal and owner of malicious malware revealed

Raymond Ronamai
Private life of world's most wanted cybercriminal and owner of malicious malware revealed

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hasn't been able to trap world's most wanted cybercriminal Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev from Russia, but it is closely tracking his movements. The agency has found out some interesting information about this man that the world knows very little about.

Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev is the administrator of GameOver Zeus botnet, a malicious and sophisticated malware that was used to gather bank account details, including passwords and personal identification numbers to access unsuspecting people's online banking accounts.

The malware, which was shut down in 2014, was responsible for infecting more than a million computers and theft of more than $100 million from businesses and consumers across the globe.

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According to a report by the New York Times, Bogachev, 33, lives freely and openly in Russia. FBI officials believe that he lives in Anapa in southern Russia. He owns an apartment near the shore, another one in Moscow and a yacht, and loves sailing. He also has a collection of luxury cars, but loves to drive his Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Russian hacker Aleksandr Panin, who used to communicate with Bogachev and is currently logged in a federal prison in Kentucky for bank fraud, told the New York Times that the administrator of the botnet used to complain of being exhausted and mentioned that he had a wife and two kids.

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J Keith Mularski, an FBI supervisor whose investigation of Bogachev led to an indictment in 2014, told the paper that "he was very, very paranoid" and "he didn't trust anybody."

Interestingly, the FBI has a photograph of Bogachev holding a Bengal cat, while wearing matching leopard-print pajamas in its file.

The FBI had announced $3 million bounty for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Bogachev in 2015 after he was charged on several counts, including conspiracy, computer hacking, wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. The Obama administration then levied sanctions against him in 2016 over allegations of Russia meddling in the US presidential election.

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Can the FBI catch the world's most wanted cybercriminal?

Bogachev is said to be living an open life in Russia and he can't be arrested until he commits a crime in the country. Moreover, Russia doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US, which means the FBI's most wanted man is out of reach until he leaves Russia.

Interestingly, the Russian government is said to be piggybacking on the hacker's activities as it helps in the country's espionage to counter cyber attacks.

(Source: The New York Times / FBI)

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