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Reports US

US stock market daily report (June 02, 2014, Monday)

June 3, 2014, Tuesday, 06:12 GMT | 01:12 EST | 09:42 IST | 12:12 SGT
Contributed by Millennium Traders

Looks like 'gameover' for botnet Gameover Zeus or GOZ - the credential-stealing software that surfaced in 2007 that caused over $100 million in losses for consumers and businesses. Damage from GOZ reportedly infected nearly 1 million computers worldwide with malware. The primary purpose of the GOZ was to grab bank credentials and change recipients of legitimate payments orders. A 'botnet' is a group of computers under the control of someone or some group that does not own the computers. These computers are typically assembled through viruses and are the key tool in sending out relentless amount of spam, commit online bank fraud and create denial-of-service attacks on websites. The operation was supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, European Cybercrime Centre and officials from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Ukraine and United Kingdom. Technical support was provided by Intel Corporation (INTC-Nasdaq), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT-Nasdaq) and Symantec Corporation (SYMC-Nasdaq). Other companies who assisted with the take-down include F-secure, Trend Micro and Carnegie Mellon University.

The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday announced that a U.S. led international operation disrupted the 'botnet' crime ring from further theft of bank credentials and cyber extortion. Servers used by the group of cyber criminals were shut down using technical and legal tactics by authorities. The servers disabled were those used by cyber thieves who used them to control infected computers programmed to "phone home" to servers, now controlled by law enforcement.

Cryptolocker - a malicious software known as 'ransomware' - encrypts data of an infected computer which makes it inaccessible by the owner. Per Justice, cyber criminals would basically take a computer hostage then promised to unscramble the data if the owner of the computer paid them a ransom of nearly $700. Of the victims that were attacked, banks included were Bank of Georgetown in Washington, Capital One Bank and First National Bank of Omaha.

Leslie Caldwell, head of criminal division of U.S. Justice Department said during a news conference, “These schemes were highly sophisticated and immensely lucrative, and the cyber criminals did not make them easy to reach or disrupt.”

The effort was kept confidential until the U.S. government unsealed a 14-count indictment accusing Russian national Evgeniy Mikhaylovich Bogachev - aka 'Lucky12345' - of involvement in the alleged conspiracy. Bogachev is charged with writing computer code that compromised banking systems and assist other criminals in stealing banking credentials. Prosecutors allege that Bogachev and his group of criminal associated infected thousands of business computers with software that captured passwords, account numbers and other information used to log into online bank accounts.