Russian hackers ‘stole £2million in cyber-attacks’

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Abdurahman Bazaev is accused of being part of hacking ring which stole £1.8million

Abdurahman Bazaev is accused of being part of hacking ring which stole £1.8million

Abdurahman Bazaev is accused of being part of hacking ring which stole £1.8million

Russian hackers stole nearly £2m from company bank accounts after launching a series of sophisticated cyber-attacks, a court heard today.

The gang infiltrated a network of private computers by creating ‘bots’ to infect them with malware, Southwark Crown Court was told.

Dagestani Abdurakhman Bazaev, 29, acted as a ‘runner, fill-in or general facilitator’ in an international plot spearheaded by his brother-in-law Vugar Mollachiev, 37, jurors heard.

The fraudsters are said to have got their hands on £1.8m during the three-year scam which allegedly saw them target three firms and discussed 33 other potential targets.

Prosecutors say the money was subsequently directed into ‘mule accounts’ and funnelled abroad, primarily to Russia and Ukraine.

Jurors were told Aslan Abazov and Aslan Gergov along with Mollachiev have all admitted their involvement as ringleaders behind the plot.

Bazaev meanwhile denies conspiracy to defraud and money laundering and is now on trial.

Prosecutor Sarah Gaunt said: ‘In essence, the fraud was committed by fraudsters gaining control of a network of private computers.

‘They did this by using, or creating, what is known in the computer world as “Bots” or “Botnets”.’

Bazaev is said to have been a 'runner' and 'facilitator' in the gang, which moved money abroad

Bazaev is said to have been a 'runner' and 'facilitator' in the gang, which moved money abroad

Bazaev is said to have been a ‘runner’ and ‘facilitator’ in the gang, which moved money abroad

The prosecutor added: ‘The ‘Bots’ or ‘Botnets’ are an infected network of private computers owned by innocent private persons and those private computers had inadvertently downloaded the malicious software onto their computers.

‘The private computers, infected with this software, then allowed the fraudsters to gain control of the private computer without the private individual knowing.

‘Once in control, the fraudsters then operated these private computers to gain access to bank accounts, transferring money from these accounts. The money was transferred into what is known as ‘mule accounts’ over which the fraudsters have control.’

The scam targeted a number of firms by trying to hack into computers. File photo

The scam targeted a number of firms by trying to hack into computers. File photo

The scam targeted a number of firms by trying to hack into computers. File photo

She added: ‘The prosecution is not suggesting in this case that Mr Bazaev was an organiser of the fraud or money laundering activity,’ said Ms Gaunt.

‘By their pleas, Abazov, Gergov and Mollachiev have accepted that they were the primary authors of the various internet chats clearly demonstrating extensive fraudulent activity and money laundering was taking place.

‘The prosecution’s case is that Mr Bazaev was involved in the fraud and money laundering as a runner, facilitator and general ‘fill-in’ when required.’

Jurors heard Bazaev was living with Mollachiev during the fraud ‘making it remarkable’ the prosecutor said ‘if he was anything other than aware of what was going on’.

Ms Gaunt told jurors Bazaev claims to have had ‘absolutely no idea’ of the operation ‘that was literally occurring under his own nose’.

Bazaev claims he was simply ferrying computer parts in conjunction with his brother’s computer repair business.

Bazaev, of Enfield, north London, denies conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. The trial continues.

 

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