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  • Leader of cybercriminal group Zeus arrested in Switzerland


    Vyacheslav Penchukov was a key element of the group and the head of several campaigns.

    In October, one of the leaders of the well-known cybercriminal group JabberZeus under the pseudonym "Tank" was arrested in Geneva.

    According to the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ), 40-year-old Vyacheslav Igorevich Penchukov is currently awaiting extradition to the United States, although he can still appeal the FOJ decision.

    “By order of the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) and based on an extradition request from the United States, a Ukrainian citizen was arrested in Geneva on October 23, 2022 and detained pending extradition,” the Swiss prosecutor’s office said.

    US authorities accuse Penchukov of extortion, bank fraud and identity theft. His extradition to the United States is scheduled for November 15, 2022. The decision of the Ministry of Justice can be appealed to the Swiss Federal Criminal Court or to the Swiss Supreme Court. According to cybersecurity researcher Brian Krebs, Penchukov was arrested while on a trip to Geneva to meet his wife.

    Penchukov was charged for the first time in 2012. He was accused of being involved in a conspiracy to steal millions of dollars using bank accounts, passwords, PINs, and other sensitive information stolen with Zeus malware. Several sources previously reported that Penchukov was also one of the leaders of the Maze and Egregor extortion campaigns.

    It also emerged that Penchukov was one of those arrested in January 2021 by Ukrainian police during an international law enforcement operation against members of the Egregor extortion gang. However, he managed to avoid prison through his political connections, including with Viktor Yanukovych, the late son of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

    Penchukov ran stolen bank accounts and money mules that transferred money from victims' accounts to cybercriminals' accounts.

    Along with 8 other suspects, he was charged with racketeering, conspiracy to commit computer fraud and identity theft, aggravated identity theft, and multiple bank fraud cases."

    Two of his accomplices, Ukrainian citizens Yevhen Kulibaba and Yuriy Konovalenko, pleaded guilty in November 2014 after being extradited from the UK and were sentenced to 2 years and 10 months in prison in May 2015.

    Author DeepWeb
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