04 Oct 2010

Five key players in Zeus plot arrested in Ukraine

Authorities may have made the most significant arrests to date in the plot to use the Zeus Trojan to steal millions from banks and other organizations in the United States.

Five "ringleaders" were detained in the Ukraine around the same time authorities in the UK and U.S. arrested more than 100 suspects related to the plot. While many of those arrested in the UK and U.S. are believed to be mere pawns, the five in Ukraine are thought to be the brains behind the massive bank heist that is accused of stealing $70 million.

"We believe we've dismantled the operation," said Gordon Snow, assistant director with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's internet security division.

Many of the victims were small businesses or local organizations that ended up having to absorb the costs of the fraud, according to PCWorld.

These latest arrests are part of the FBI's longtime investigation into the plot. Operation Trident Breach began in May 2009 after FBI agents in Omaha, Nebraska, investigated a computer fraud case that involved 46 unauthorized bank payments across the country.