After being accused of using malware to steal more than £18m (1.7bn roubles), 50 people have been arrested in Russia, believed to be the largest arrest of cyber criminals in the country.
The hacking group is thought to have hidden a malicious trojan, known as Lurk, in some of the most popular Russian websites.
This malware would then infect visitors’ computers, downloading more software and consequently granting the hackers remote access. They could then steal login details for users’ online banking accounts, predominantly those with an account for a major Russian bank, Sberbank.
One of the reasons it was so difficult for the authorities to stop the crime was that the hackers made the most of their technical expertise to make it very difficult for security software to identify the malicious code, after it had successfully infiltrated the computers.
Raids were conducted in 15 different regions across Russia, to try and catch all of those responsible for the hacking.
The FSB internal security service said: “”As a result of [house] searches, a large quantity of computer equipment was confiscated along with communications gear, bank cards in false names, and also financial documents and significant amounts of cash confirming the illegal nature of their activity.”
The arrests have reportedly prevented a further 2.3bn roubles in pending transferred from occurring.