Security Magazine, 05 December 2019
The US, through its Departments of Justice and State, and the UK, through its National Crime Agency (NCA), announced the unsealing of criminal charges in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Lincoln, Nebraska, against Maksim V. Yakubets, aka online moniker, “aqua,” 32, of Moscow, Russia, related to two separate international computer hacking and bank fraud schemes spanning from May 2009 to the present. A second individual, Igor Turashev, 38, from Yoshkar-Ola, Russia, was also indicted in Pittsburgh for his role related to the “Bugat” malware conspiracy.
The State Department, in partnership with the FBI, announced a reward of up to $5 million under the Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Yakubets. This represents the largest such reward offer for a cyber criminal to date.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady for the Western District of Pennsylvania, U.S. Attorney Joseph P. Kelly for the District of Nebraska, FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary James A. Walsh of the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and Director Rob Jones of the Cyber Crime Unit at the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) made the announcement.