Home / Early Warning / Cybersecurity Highlights / Mastermind of a band of cybercriminals arrested in Spain

Mastermind of a band of cybercriminals arrested in Spain

03/26/2018

Denis K, alleged leader of a gang of cybercriminals who created the banking malware Anunnak, Carbanak and Cobalt, has been arrested in Alicante "Spain". The operation was carried out jointly with the National Police and EUROPOL in collaboration with other security forces and private cybersecurity companies.

The criminal gang started in 2013 naming the campaign as Anunak. In early 2015 Kaspersky researchers detected a new variant called Carbanak with which they stole hundreds of millions of dollars mainly in Russia and the US.

The modus operandi consisted of spear phishing attacks and malicious files that were sent to bank employees who, once executed, allowed cybercriminals access to the systems of the attacked bank. Mainly they stole the money through fraudulent transactions camouflaged as legitimate.

At the end of 2016, the malware became a new variant known as Cobalt, whose main technique used to steal money was the jackpotting. With this technique they accessed ATMs to expel money and without having to force them physically. Through this technique they managed to steal half a million euros in ATMs in Madrid.

All the money stolen was taken by people who exchanged it for cryptocurrencies that in turn invested in luxury homes and cars.

During this time the cybercriminals attacked banks in more than 40 countries and the stolen money is estimated to amount to more than 1 billion dollars.