QQAAZZ Group Charged for Helping Banking Trojan Operators Launder Money


    Legislation enforcement companies in 16 nations labored collectively to dismantle a prison community concerned within the laundering of cash from high-level cybercriminals.

    The crime ring consisted of people from Latvia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Belgium. As a part of the investigation, authorities performed 40 home searches in Latvia, Bulgaria, the UK, Spain and Italy, and arrested 20 individuals.

    America on Thursday unsealed an indictment charging 14 alleged members of the community, particularly Nika Nazarovi and Aleksandre Kobiashvili, of Georgia; Martins Ignatjevs, Dmitrijs Kuzminovs, Valentins Sevecs, Dmitrijs Slapins, Armens Vecels, Tomass Trescinkas, Ruslans Sarapovs, and Silvestrs Tamenieks, of Latvia; Artiom Capacli and Petar Iliev, of Bulgaria; Ion Cebanu, of Romania; and Abdelhak Hamdaoui, of Belgium.

    5 different Latvians have been indicted final yr, particularly Aleksejs Trofimovics, Ruslans Nikitenko, Arturs Zaharevics, Deniss Ruseckis, and Deinis Gorenko. In late March 2020, Maksim Boiko, a Russian nationwide, was arrested in america.

    Dubbed “QQAAZZ,” the community is believed to have laundered tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} since 2016, stolen from each company and private financial institution accounts all around the globe. The group had three hierarchical ranges: leaders, mid-level managers, and cash mules (or couriers).

    Each authentic and fraudulent Polish and Bulgarian IDs have been used to create and register shell corporations that helped the cybercriminals safe financial institution accounts at quite a few monetary establishments in numerous nations. Thus, QQAAZZ might function tons of of financial institution accounts that have been leveraged to obtain stolen funds from massive cybercrime teams.

    The funds have been transferred by a posh sequence of transactions that included transfers to different financial institution accounts managed by the money-laundering group and conversion to cryptocurrency. After taking their price (which was sometimes 40-50% of the stolen funds), the ring returned the stability to the cybercriminals.

    The group maintained company financial institution accounts to obtain massive transactions with out elevating suspicion, however employed private accounts for simply changing funds to cryptocurrency, the indictment unsealed this week reveals.

    QQAAZZ, which marketed cash-out and cash laundering providers on unique Russian-speaking cybercriminal boards, served a few of the most outstanding gangs, together with these behind Dridex, TrickBot, GozNym, and others, authorities stated.

    UK authorities, which arrested six believed to be linked to the community, together with Arturs Zaharevics, carried out searches throughout eleven properties and 4 autos, and seized telephones, PCs, suspected faux IDs, and monetary paperwork.

    America Division of Justice stated that U.S. victims who had their funds stolen, or tried to be stolen, after which laundered by QQAAZZ embrace a know-how firm, a Jewish Orthodox Synagogue, a medical gadget producer, an structure agency, an automotive elements producer, a homebuilder, and a number of other people throughout the nation.

    The worldwide effort was led by the Portuguese Judicial Police, america Lawyer Workplace for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the FBI’s Pittsburgh Subject Workplace, and noticed participation from the Spanish Nationwide Police, the regional Catalan police, and regulation enforcement from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Georgia, Italy, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK, in coordination with Europol.

    “Cybercriminals are consistently exploring new prospects to abuse know-how and monetary frameworks to victimise thousands and thousands of customers in a second from wherever on the planet. As we speak’s operation reveals how by a correct regulation enforcement worldwide coordination we are able to flip the desk on these criminals and convey them to justice,” stated Edvardas Šileris, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre.

    Associated: Cybercrime Cash-launders Busted by European Police, FBI

    Associated: Two Dozen Arrested for Laundering Funds From BEC, Different Scams

    Associated: Six Arrested in UK Over Malta Financial institution Cyber-Heist

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    Ionut Arghire is a global correspondent for SecurityWeek.

    Earlier Columns by Ionut Arghire:

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