Feds say Ukrainian man operating malware service amassed 50M distinctive credentials


Getty Photographs | Charles O’Rear

Federal prosecutors have charged a 26-year-old Ukrainian nationwide with working a malware service that was chargeable for stealing delicate knowledge from greater than 2 million people world wide.

Prosecutors in Texas stated on Tuesday that Mark Sokolovsky, 26, of Ukraine helped function “Raccoon,” an data stealer program that labored utilizing a mannequin referred to as MaaS, quick for malware-as-a-service. In change for about $200 per 30 days in cryptocurrency, Sokolovsky and others behind Raccoon provided clients with the malware, digital infrastructure, and technical assist. Prospects would then use the service to contaminate targets with the malware, which might surreptitiously harvest credentials for e mail and financial institution accounts, bank cards, cryptocurrency wallets, and different non-public info.

First seen in April 2019, Raccoon was in a position to extract delicate knowledge from a variety of functions, together with 29 separate Chromium-based browsers, Mozilla-based apps, and cryptocurrency wallets from Exodus and Jaxx. Written in C++, the malware also can take screenshots. As soon as Raccoon has extracted all knowledge from an contaminated machine, it uninstalls and deletes all traces of itself.

An indictment unsealed on Tuesday stated greater than 2 million victims had private knowledge stolen by means of Raccoon. Thus far, prosecutors stated they’ve recovered greater than 50 million distinctive credentials and types of identification taken within the operation and imagine there’s extra stolen knowledge that has but to be discovered.

Prosecutors wrote:

Via varied investigative steps, the FBI has collected knowledge stolen from many computer systems that cyber criminals contaminated with Raccoon Infostealer. Whereas a precise quantity has but to be verified, FBI brokers have recognized greater than 50 million distinctive credentials and types of identification (e mail addresses, financial institution accounts, cryptocurrency addresses, bank card numbers, and so on.) within the stolen knowledge from what seems to be hundreds of thousands of potential victims world wide. The credentials seem to incorporate over 4 million e mail addresses. The USA doesn’t imagine it’s in possession of all the info stolen by Raccoon Infostealer and continues to research.

The FBI created an internet site that enables folks to find out if their knowledge was amongst that recovered to this point. The location, raccoon.ic3.gov, permits guests to enter the e-mail handle of an account they management. If the handle is included within the recovered knowledge, the FBI will ship the handle an e mail notifying the customer of the theft. Officers are encouraging individuals who imagine they’re victims to finish the criticism kind utilizing this web page operated by the Web Crime Grievance Middle.

The unsealed indictment listed a number of particular actions Sokolovsky allegedly carried out to assist function the Raccoon service. These actions included acquiring the transport layer safety certificates utilizing one of many net domains that hosted Raccoon, operating accounts that marketed Raccoon on on-line boards, and making a Git-based supply code repository account to be used in enhancing and modifying the Raccoon code.

On the identical time that Dutch authorities arrested Sokolovsky final March, the FBI and regulation enforcement companions within the Netherlands and Italy dismantled Raccoon Infostealer’s infrastructure and took the malware’s current model offline.

Prosecutors charged Sokolovsky with one rely of conspiracy to commit pc fraud and associated exercise in reference to computer systems; one rely of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; one rely of conspiracy to commit cash laundering; and one rely of aggravated id theft. If convicted, Sokolovsky faces a most penalty of 20 years in jail for the wire fraud and cash laundering offenses, 5 years for the conspiracy to commit pc fraud cost, and a compulsory consecutive two-year time period for the aggravated id theft offense.

The defendant is at present being detained within the Netherlands pursuant to an extradition request by US authorities. In September, a courtroom in Amsterdam granted the extradition request. Sokolovsky stays in Amsterdam whereas that call is on attraction.

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