Kristina Svechinskaya: Manufacturing the Next Anna Chapman
Kristina Svechinskaya Arrested in Zeus Trojan Malware Bust: Anna Chapman 2.0
Kristina Svechinskaya is one of several Russian university students arrested in the US for using the Zeus trojan to steal money from banks. Since a malware story isn't sexy enough in and of itself, media outlets are using Kristina Svechinskaya's appearance to market her as the next Anna Chapman. Kristina Svechinskaya was a "money mule", whose alleged role in the scheme was to open accounts in which to deposit the stolen funds.
Of course, it makes no difference what any of the young Russian suspects looks like when they're pwning your bank account. It's all ones and zeroes.
Over 100 suspects have been arrested in the USA and the UK for deploying malware that netted them $3 million from infected accounts.
Online photos of Kristina Svechinskaya had potential, as did her outfit at the arraignment — calf-high boots and skin-tight jeans. Unfortunately, wrote the Daily News, "Several who were arraigned in federal court Thursday looked young and frightened, a far cry from the sexy glamour shots they posted on websites."
The crime itself isn't quite so visually arresting, but is an interesting use of keylogging:
The program would gain access to the computer when a victim clicked on a link or opened a file attached to a seemingly legitimate e-mail message.
Once the program was engaged, computer hackers could secretly monitor the victim's computer activity, enabling them to obtain bank-account numbers, passwords and authentication information, the FBI said.
Many of the mules were recruited through ads in a Russian-language newspaper or social-networking site, said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. Those charged included citizens of Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus.