Most wanted hacker ar­rested

Sus­pected of lead­ing in­ter­na­tional cy­ber-crime gang

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By James Parkes

ONE of the world's most wanted com­puter sys­tem hack­ers has been ar­rested in Ali­cante's Playa San Juan district by Na­tional Po­lice.

Ukrainian na­tional De­nis K. is ac­cused of lead­ing a cy­ber­crime or­gan­i­sa­tion that robbed $1bil­lion from banks in 40 dif­fer­ent coun­tries since 2013.

The de­tainee man­aged to ac­cu­mu­late 15,000 bit­coins (around €120mil­lion) in one of his ac­counts. How­ever, this amount had been re­duced due to dis- putes with his al­leged Rus­sian mafia ac­com­plices – with whom he used to col­lect money from ATM ma­chines that he hacked into and pro­grammed to dishout all the cash avail­able.

At the house search on Playa San Juan, of­fi­cers seized top-ofthe-range com­puter equip­ment, jew­ellery worth half-a-mil­lion euros, IDs and pa­per­work for two lux­ury ve­hi­cles.

De­nis K., liv­ing at the Playa San Juan house with his wife and young daugh­ter, was in close con­tact via in­ter­net, with at least three other gang mem­bers - Rus­sian and Ukrainian na­tion­als who have been iden­ti­fied but not yet ar­rested.

In ad­di­tion, his bank ac­counts were frozen and two houses - with an es­ti­mated mar­ket value of €1mil­lion - have been sealed.

Ac­cord­ing to de­tails re­vealed by the Min­is­ter for the In­te­rior Ig­na­cio Zoido, Na­tional Po­lice worked in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Europol and the FBI.

De­nis K. led the group that is held re­spon­si­ble for hun­dreds of cy­ber-at­tacks on banks world­wide. The gang man­aged to steal over $1.5mil­lion from each one ac­cess­ing pri­vate ac­counts and rapidly con­verted the amounts into crypto-cur­rency, or so-called vir­tual cash (mainly bit­coins).

This al­lowed them to move amounts more rapidly and laun­der it.

They ini­tially started by hack­ing into banks in Rus­sian, Be­larus, Azer­bai­jan, Kaza­khstan, Ukraine and Tai­wan us­ing mal­ware (in­fected soft­ware) to gain con­trol of their sys­tems. They even­tu­ally spread their at­tacks to banks in other coun­tries.

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