Though at least two-thirds of the alleged "mules," managers and recruiters charged in New York were Russian, at least seven were Moldovan. The 37 face federal charges that include money laundering, forgery, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to use false identification and use of false passports.
The FBI said that it had enjoyed unprecedented cooperation with Ukrainian law enforcement, joining forces with the Ukrainian Security Service on a cyber crime task force. "During this investigation," said FBI assistant director Gordon Snow, "the FBI worked closely with our overseas counterparts to identify subjects who were instrumental in the development and control of the malicious software, those who facilitated the use of malware, and those who saw a means to make quick, easy money—the mules."
Spread by phishing schemes and drive-by downloads, the Zeus Trojan virus has been around since at least 2007, and is consistently described as very difficult to detect even by sophisticated anti-virus software. As a result, millions of computers are believed to be infected.
Recently, internet security experts have said that a new version of the malware appears to be targeting mobile phones -- intercepting SMS confirmations sent by banks to customers and defeating the fund transfer authentication codes.