Microsoft names two defendants in Zeus botnet case

Microsoft has put faces and names to two of 39 "John Doe" defendants accused of running Zeus botnets responsible for scamming hundreds of millions of dollars from banks internationally.

The pair were part of the Zeus Racketeering Enterprise described earlier this year in court papers charging the group of anonymous defendants and whose command and control servers were taken down by Microsoft.

The two defendants are already serving time in U.K. prison after admitting last fall of similar crimes there.

BACKGROUND: Microsoft downs Zeus botnet but can't ID who's behind it

MORE: Microsoft leads seizure of Zeus-related cybercrime server

In Microsoft's official blog, Richard Domingues Boscovich, a senior attorney in the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, says the company is referring the case to the FBI to see whether it wants to file criminal charges. That includes turning over all the evidence Microsoft has gathered for the two named defendants as well as others not named, Boscovich writes.

The two accused are Yevhen Kulibaba and Yuriy Konovalenko, both Ukrainian nationals and both of whom pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and were sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

In the U.S. case, Microsoft filed a civil suit against 39 defendants it could identify by screen names and IP addresses but not names. Meantime, the company has somehow linked Kulibaba and Konovalenko to two of the John Doe descriptions.

The U.S. case is related to a much publicized seizure of command and control servers in Scranton, Pa., and Lombard, Ill., that were determined by a court to be part of a botnet that was scamming money out of financial institutions and stealing identities.

In his blog, Boscovich notes that since the March takedown of the servers, observed worldwide IP address infections attributable to Zeus has dropped from 779,816 to 336,393, based on sampling done during six-day periods in March and June of this year. The servers were seized March 23.

Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Tim Greene

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts