The United States and other governments have cracked down on the group behind two of the world's worst computer viruses, officials announced Monday.
Both schemes — the "Gameover Zeus Botnet" and the "Cryptolocker" virus — infected hundreds of thousands of computers and stole millions of dollars from victims around the world, the officials said.
U.S. and foreign law-enforcement officials said they seized servers and disabled both viruses, and the Justice Department filed charges against Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, a Russian national whom the U.S. alleges is the leader of a group behind both schemes.
"Evgeniy Bogachev and the members of his criminal network devised and implemented the kind of cybercrimes that you might not believe if you saw them in a science-fiction movie," Leslie Caldwell, the head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, said.
Gameover Zeus silently spied on and even controlled infected computers, the officials said. The virus intercepted bank account numbers and passwords, allowing the hackers to empty their victims' bank accounts, according to the charges.
Gameover Zeus controlled a network of between 500,000 and 1 million computers around the world, security researchers estimate.