Cybercrime syndicate behind GozNym Banking Malware dismantled

May 16, 2019 | Brainwave Science

Cybercrime syndicate behind GozNym Banking Malware dismantled: Brainwave Science


An international cybercrime network responsible for using malware to embezzle $100 million from banks and businesses around the globe has been taken down in a joint law enforcement operation by several European nations and the United States.Cybercrime syndicate

According to reports, ten individuals from Russia, Eastern Europe, and former Soviet states have arrested on charges of infecting more than 40,000 victims’ computers with ‘GozNym malware’ to steal online banking login credentials and using the same for laundering the funds into bank accounts administered by the criminals.  Since its discovery in 2016, the GozNym malware crime spread into Europe and began plaguing banking customers in Poland with redirection attacks. The banking Trojan then reportedly took aims at banks in Germany and the US.Cybercrime syndicate

Europol said, “An unprecedented, international law enforcement operation has dismantled a complex, globally operating and organized cybercrime network.” Operation and the arrests which have taken place are viewed as a victory in the fight against cybercrime- and a big step towards further cooperation across borders.Cybercrime syndicate

Europol and the FBI confirmed that Alexander Konovolov, the Cyber kingpin who masterminded the GozNym cybercrime along with his alleged accomplice, Marat Kazandjian, have been apprehended and being prosecuted in Georgia, US. According to prosecutors, Kazandjian assembled the team of cybercriminals around the globe and carried out the technical aspects of the operation.Cybercrime syndicate

Five Russians who were also named in the indictment remain on the run, including the alleged developer of the GozNym malware and oversaw its development and management, including it to other cyber-criminals.

Prof Alan Woodward, a computer scientist from the University of Surrey, said one of the things that operation has highlighted is how common the selling of nefarious cyber-skills has become. He said, “The developers of this malware advertised their ‘product’ so that other criminals could use their service to conduct banking fraud.”


Cybercriminals use sophisticated tactics. With the advancement made in cyber technology and the dependency of individuals on the internet, cyber attacks have been growing exponentially in the past few years. In a 2017 report, Gartner predicts that cybercrime might become the greatest threat to every person, place, and thing in the world within the next five years.

GozNym is only the latest cybercrime network to be targeted by international law enforcement. However, the biggest question remains how to protect a nation’s interest from such advanced and new cyber-attacks? Cybersecurity experts suggest this enormous data breach is just the latest evidence that cybercrime has become an international business- costs the world economy an estimated $400 billion a year. Law Enforcement agencies can generally be hindered by the dark web and anonymizing tools used by cyber-criminals to cover their tracks. Cyber Crime has turned to be the most complex cases as the challenged faced by law enforcement personnel are political barriers, lengthy trials and lack of evidence. Organizations like Europol, FBI and other foreign agencies work together to investigate and eventually arrest cyber-criminals. However, many of them remain at large, are merely foot soldiers and major gaps in international cyber-crime enforcement helps hackers to exploit them to operate with near impunity.

Crime syndicates in Russia, Nigeria, China, Brazil, and other countries use some of the most technologically advanced tools in the trade. JD Sherry, vice president of a Tokyo-based cyber-security firm said, “The Russians are at the top of the food chain when it comes to elite cyber skill hacking capabilities”. Last year, 6 Russians were charged for online advertisement fraud in the US.

“International law enforcement has recognized that the only way to truly disrupt and defeat transnational, anonymized networks is to do so in partnership,” said U.S. Attorney Brady.  “The collaborative and simultaneous prosecution of the members of the GozNym criminal conspiracy in four countries represents a paradigm shift in how we investigate and prosecute cybercrime.  Cybercrime victimizes people all over the world.  This prosecution represents an international cooperative effort to bring cybercriminals to justice.”

Gabriele Launhardt, deputy national member for Germany at Eurojust, said,” In a world where the internet plays a vital role for our economy and social life, the kind of international cooperation we’ve had sets a new standard for international cross-border judiciary work.”


Cybercrime continues to gain popular among criminals, as it allows nefarious actors to operate at a safe distance from victims—and more importantly, law enforcement personnel. It even ranks as one of the biggest problems plaguing mankind and expected to be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drug trafficking combined! Cybercrime syndicate

It took two years to identify the mastermind and accomplice behind GozNym. Could this technology help cyber-security to eliminate the latest cybercrime threat and identify and prosecute the hackers with limited evidence? What if there existed a technology that would support law enforcement agencies at an international level to crack down these cybercriminals within a smaller time frame, with high levels of accuracy and at a very reasonable cost?  iCognative by Brainwave Science makes it possible. Cybercrime syndicate

iCognative may well be the breakthrough that investigators and the law enforcement agencies across the world have long hoped for, enabling them to determine who is involved in nefarious or criminal activity with a nearly infallible degree of accuracy. This is the best methods for law enforcement personnel to gain evidence in such cases.

However, due to lack of evidence and intelligence, hackers have found a loophole to deceive these existing tools. Now, it’s the correct time to accept something revolutionary and super advanced called iCognative. Brainwave Science’s iCognative is the best-suited technology for cybercrime case at hand. iCognative sets a benchmark for innovation and performance, as it is a highly advanced, non-intrusive, and affordable security solution, showing a great value for law enforcement, counterterrorism, national security, and border security agencies around the globe.

On the surface, cybercrime seems like it would be a fairly open and shut case-a cybercriminal commits a crime, law enforcement steps in, catches the bad guy and then the is case closed. However, due to the sophisticated tactics these criminals use, it makes it extremely difficult for law enforcement alone to collect evidence, capture the suspect and prosecute them. In order to bring a case to a successful conclusion in cyber crimes, it takes thousands of hours in research and cyber forensic analysis, which includes identifying, preserving, retrieving, analyzing and presenting data as a form of evidence. In order for this evidence to be admissible in court, the police need to obtain a warrant to seize the machines that are used in the crimes. iCognative is an easier and reliable alternative as it taps into the source of all criminal activity planners.
Brain activity is central to all human activities; it plans, executes and records information, not unlike a video camera. So it stands to reason that if a cybercriminal gang has been active for a while there has been a substantial amount of planning and cooperation that has been engaged. Such information collected during an investigation is all that is needed to dismantle these ‘computer gangs’ using revolutionary iCognative technology.

In this case, law enforcement agencies can deploy iCognative without any further delay to serve as a modern and valuable intelligence gathering tool to provide accurate intelligence about the GozNym cyber cell crime. A 45-minute iCognative test is what needed by law enforcement personnel and prosecutors to close this case and prevent such crime in the future. Within 45-minutes, iCognative can assure what specific information 10 arrested hackers including the mastermind know about the crime and identify the loopholes within their cyber network. Information such as location and identification of members involved in this crime, any bank official involved in this case, details about ongoing cyber-crime in the region, where is the stolen money, what information they stole from business, etc., would be available for the FBI and Europol to investigate this case, prevent future cyber-attacks, identify the members, and eliminate underground cybercrime economy. iCognative can guarantee to provide the above results with 99% accuracy within days of investigation.

Solving cyber-crimes is a lengthy process and requires loads of paperwork before gaining arrest warrants. Till now, hackers believed to be at a safe distance from victims and law enforcement personnel. Now with the introduction of iCognative by Brainwave Science that distance is reduced. Only iCognative has the means and advantages to eliminate cybercrime and identify the hidden hackers from innocent.

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