U.S., Europol and European Law Enforcement Dismantle GozNym Cyber-Criminal Network in Eastern Europe

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Friday, May 24, 2019
Bruce Zagaris

On May 16, 2019, the U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady of the Western District of Pennsylvania and Europol announced from Europol’s headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands that a joint law enforcement operation has dismantled a complex transnational organized crime network using GozNym malware to steal an estimated $100 million from unsuspecting victims in the United States and around the world.  GozNym infected tens of thousands of victim computers worldwide, mainly in the U.S. and Europe.  An important feature of the operation was the unprecedented initiation of criminal prosecutions against members of the network in four different countries as a result of cooperation between the U.S., Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Germany, Bulgaria, Europol, and Eurojust. The operation was conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the FBI’s Pittsburgh Field Office, along with Europol, Eurojust, and prosecutors and/or law enforcement agencies in Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, and Germany. An indictment unsealed on May  16 returned by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh charges 10 members of the GozNym criminal network with conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.  Previously, a related indictment charged an eleventh member of the conspiracy.  The victims of these crimes were primarily U.S. businesses and their financial institutions, including a number of victims located in the Western District of Pennsylvania.