The malware known as ZeuS and its rogue creator have been at the cutting edge of cyber-crime for nearly a decade.
With repeated enhancements, ZeuS and its offspring became juggernauts of cyber bank robbery—turning millions of computers into global networks of zombie machines enslaved by criminals. Conservative estimates of their haul reach well into hundreds of millions of dollars.
SecureWorks documented attacks that targeted more than 1,400 financial institutions across more than 80 countries—just from 2014 through March 2015. Since the ZeuS source code leak, almost all banking malware has incorporated its features, according to SecureWorks.
“To create a tool that may be responsible since its inception for a billion dollars in damages, and still to evade arrest despite all that up to this point, is just amazing to me,” said Don Jackson about the author of ZeuS. “Until he’s in custody, and he’s in custody somewhere where he’ll stay in custody, I don’t think we’ll see the last of it.”