A 32-year-old man is under arrest for being a part of a cybercrime ring that made up to $8,000 per day using Android banking Trojans.
The suspect is an unemployed Russian national who had previously been convicted for arms trafficking, according to Russia-based cybersecurity firm Group-IB.
He was arrested earlier this month and reportedly already confessed.
The group used a malicious Android app named “Banks at your fingertips” to trick the customers of Russian banks into handing over their financial information. The banking Trojan was disguised as a tool that claimed to allow users to access all their bank accounts from one Android app. It offered users the possibility to view balances, transfer money between payment cards, and pay for online services.
The malicious app, distributed via spam emails since 2016, instructed users to enter their card details, which were then sent to a server controlled by the attackers. The attackers were able to transfer between $1,500 and $8,000 per day from victims’ bank accounts, $200-$500 at a time. The criminal proceeds were laundered using cryptocurrencies, officials said.
The malware also helped the attackers intercept the SMS confirmation codes sent by banks, at the same time blocking all text messages confirming transactions in an effort to avoid raising suspicion.
While Russia has occasionally collaborated with Western law enforcement agencies to bring down global cybercrime operations, it has often turned a blind eye to the activities of hackers who have mainly targeted the United States.
The Russian government, though, has been known to crack down on cybercrime rings that target Russian citizens.