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The Cybergang Behind The ‘Svpeng’ Android Malware Has Been Apprehended

April 13, 2015 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

Considering the fact how much time we spend in front of our computers, smartphones, tablets… and the type of private information we share through those devices, security has never been more important. More and more people send financial transactions via internet and store all kinds of confidential information on their devices. There are all sorts of threats out there, some are more dangerous than others though, of course. Well, according to Forbes, one such threat has been eliminated, read on.

According to the source, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs has announced that the law-breaking 25-year-old hacker has been arrested. This individual hacker has allegedly created the well-known Android money-stealing malware called Svpeng. Just to put things into perspective, this particular malware has infected as many as 350,000 Android-powered devices last year. Other four member of the cybercriminal gang have also been arrested according to the report. These five hackers have stolen as much as 50 million rubles ($930,000) using this malware, with Sberbank (the largest bank in Russia) picking up attacks since 2013. Russian citizens weren’t the only one infected by this malware, Europe and the U.S. was also affected. According to Kaspersky’s report from June last year, 91% of Svpeng’s attack were targetting the English-language users from U.S. and the U.K.

This malware has been using several techniques in order to get its way to banking credentials and then steal some cash of off various accounts. At first, Svpeng would open up a new window every time an infected party would launch Google Play, and it would ask a person to type in credit credentials. Later on, the virus sent FBI penalty notification letters up on people’s screens claiming the user has been looking at illegal pornographic material and demanded an infected user to pay $200 in the form of Green Dot’s MoneyPak cards. This type of attack is actually known as ransomware and we’ve mentioned it a few times last year. The malware was also distributed via SMS messages sending fake links Trojan downloads, and so on.

The hackers were apprehended on March 24th, but the information wasn’t made public until recently. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs has also said that the arrested suspects have offered confessions, quite possibly in exchange for lowering their sentence. These hackers were actually using Nazi symbols in the management system. There you have it, it seems like Svpeng is a thing of the past, hopefully.