He comes from Kazakhstan. He has had some very questionable successes. For example, the theft of sensitive information from companies in 44 countries. It infiltrated the world’s best cyber security companies, McAfee, Symantec and Trend Micro. Nothing was heard from him for a long time. Only he was the most dangerous hacker in the world.
His name is Andrey Turchin. He is 37 years old. Group-IB, another affected company, paid $ 1.5 million in computer extortion. He adds several crimes against various organizations in the United States. His whereabouts were previously unknown. He didn’t just appear in the United States. Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Ecuador also suffered in Latin America.
He became known last year. It was after the access codes of the major cyber security companies were disclosed. But its activities have been registered since 2016. The U.S. Department of Justice says he is a hacker with little experience. But it did have a remarkable ability to filter documents protected by strong cyber security codes. Around mid-2017, Turchin increased his bet. It revealed the access data to the systems of some hotels and to the corporate networks of the banks.
It was the first time an unknown hacker did this. It exposed the credentials of thousands of very well protected information sites. “This will be recalled by Group-IB. His modus operandi was based on not only offering the information that he had stolen. It also provided access and source code for these security systems. Their prices ranged from $ 300,000 to $ 1 million.
“Many transactions were made through an intermediary. Interested buyers have tested network access for a limited period of time, “the US Justice report said.
Another striking topic was the sales slogan. That’s where his nickname comes from. He said that those who bought these gateways would become “the invisible gods of the network”.
Despite its popularity, no one knew its true identity, nor the place where it operated. But he made several mistakes that left clues that made his identification possible. “In the beginning, the company started selling government information on one of the internet forums. He broke one of the rules of Russian hacking: don’t hack the government or Russian companies, “the report said.
“When trying to sell this data, he was excluded from these forums. And this mistake, which he didn’t make again, was one of the clues he left so that they could identify him ».
From there he managed to find the name behind the “invisible god” of the networks as well as his country of residence.
Group IB’s investigation found that Turchin had attacked about 135 companies. The items were as varied as hospitality, banking, mining, or government offices. However, the Justice Department made it clear that more than 300 companies were affected. The report also highlighted that Turchin stopped acting on the networks after the publication of his pseudonym in 2019.
Now he faces several charges. Conspiracy to commit hacks, two cases of computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud. There is no extradition agreement between the United States and Kazakhstan. However, the investigation was supported by the authorities in the Asian country. The world’s most dangerous hacker will be brought to justice sooner or later.
“We discussed the case with the authorities in Kazakhstan. We hope this collaboration that we had in the investigation will be useful. We want Andrew Turchin to be brought to trial, “Brian Moran told Forbes magazine. He is a state attorney at the Washington State District Court.
The path of crime is winding … and full of zeros and ones. But its end is always the same. The prison.