The FBI has announced Evgeniy M. Bogachev as the most wanted cybercriminal in the world. The bureau is offering a $3 million bounty for his capture, the most ever for cybercrimes, and has been following the hacker’s tracks in hopes of arresting him once he steps out of his Russia home.

Bogachev, who goes by the aliases pollingsoon, slavic, and lucky12345, has been indicted in the United States and is charged with a number of crimes such as money laundering, wire fraud and computer fraud.

Advertisement
Advertisement

According to The New York Times, the hacker is responsible for creating a network of virus-infected computers to draw off millions of dollars from numerous bank accounts around the world. His victims include a police department in Massachusetts, a North Carolina pest control company and even a Native American tribe based in Washington.

Bogachev’s height of operations

At one point, Bogachev’s activities allowed him to manipulate between 500,000 and a million computers, American officials said.

Advertisement

With that magnitude of computing power, the hacker was able to siphon so much wealth from the bank accounts of his victims across the US and the world, he bought two villas in France. He reportedly owns a fleet of cars across Europe, leaving renting out of the picture while on trips.

The authorities believe that among Bogachev’s possessions are those of government officials and contractors in a number of countries.

Don’t miss the latest news!
Click on the topic you interest most. We'll keep you updated with all the news you shouldn't miss.
Donald Trump

For Russia’s surveillance-obsessed intelligence community, the hacker’s insidious activities may have opened a window for espionage.

“They had such a large number of infections,” said Brett Stone-Gross, a cybersecurity analyst. “I would say it’s highly likely they had computers belonging to U.S. government and foreign government employees.”

Bogachev’s alleged Russian ties

The cybercriminal is believed to have been tapped by the Russian government for surveillance efforts, sparing themselves the hard work of infiltrating networks themselves, according to US officials.

Russian officials reportedly took interest in Bogachev’s operations as a way of gathering sensitive information from intelligence agencies and the military concerning the Syria-Ukraine conflict.

Bogachev has also been tied to meddling with the 2016 elections – he was one of the six individuals targeted by sanctions issued by the Obama administration in December. Also in the list is a hacker named Alexsey Belan, four members of Russia’s military intelligence bureau and the GRU.

Advertisement

The hacker may be residing in Anapa, a resort town located on the Black Sea in Southern Russia, officials believe. J. Keith Mularski, an FBI supervisor in Pittsburgh, said agents are “still pursuing leads.”

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more