Police in Argentina busted a 19-year-old man and charged him with running a set of cyber scams that earned as much as $50,000 per month.
Argentina’s Ministry of Defense confirmed arresting the unnamed man for running a cyber campaign, as part of its Operation Zombie. The 19-year-old faces charges of infecting a number of computers with money-siphoning malware hosted in a server for downloading online gaming applications.
Police said the accused hid his tracks using a botnet to mount denial of service (DoS) attacks on his victims, hampering their ability to spot the lump sums taken from their accounts.
The Associated Press reported the man is the son of an information systems engineer. It also reported experts said the hacker was diverting around $50,000 a month to his bank account before his arrest. Police said the campaign had been running since 2012.
While the youth’s age is troubling the amount listed is of little surprise. Cybercrime has been an increasingly profitable practice. Security firm Symantec reported last year that cyber criminals are taking up to $33,000 per day using ransomware scams.
Ransomware is a dangerous variant of malware that locks a user’s computer and blackmails them for money to unlock it.