Zeus Trojan Money Mule Suspects Arrested

Two fugitives from a September cyber-arrest appeared in court Nov. 4 in Wisconsin.

Two men sought by the FBI on cyber-crime charges were picked up recently by authorities, ending a month-long manhunt, according to media reports.

Dorin Codreanu and Lilian Adam, both originally from Moldova, appeared in court Nov. 4 in Madison, Wisc., after being arrested a day earlier, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. Both Adam and Codreanu are accused of working as money mules for a cyber-gang that used the Zeus Trojan to infect computers and swipe online banking information.

In September, law enforcement officers arrested scores of suspected members of the ring around the world. In New York, federal prosecutors charged 37 people in connection with the crew, which is alleged to have looted millions of dollars compromised accounts.

According to the complaint, Codreanu served as both a money mule and a manager for the organization who recruit two other mules into the crew. Adam is alleged to have opened at least three accounts into which roughly $14,620 was fraudulently wired from a victim's account. Some $7,900 of that was withdrawn, the complaint states.

Despite the arrests, the Zeus Trojan remains one of the most popular pieces of malware in the cyber-underground, security pros have said.

"Once again, it's very encouraging to see the computer cops fighting the growing problem of cyber-crime," blogged Sophos Senior Technology Consultant Graham Cluley. "Those involved in the Internet's criminal underworld may be becoming more organised [sic] and international in nature, but they are in danger of discovering that the punishments if caught can be severe."