Story By: Anastasia Smirnova, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder,Agency: Central European News
One of the alleged members of the ‘Evil Corp’ Russian hacker group accused by the US of stealing over 100 million USD from banks is reportedly the son of the mayor of a Moscow suburb.
The US Treasury Department recently announced sanctions against Russia-based ‘Evil Corp’ who they accuse of using malware to harvest login credentials and steal over 100 million USD (78 million GBP) in over 40 countries.
Russian media now report that one of the suspected members of the hacker group, Andrey Plotnitsky, is allegedly the son of a former Russian Mayor who also goes by the name of Andrey Kovalsky.
Kovalsky’s father is reportedly Vladimir Strelchenko, 55, who was born in the city of Novosibirsk in central Russia’s Novosibirsk Oblast region and made his career in the Soviet and Russian Army.
From 1988 to 1989 he served in Afghanistan, starting as a service platoon commander and leaving the country as a company commander of the 70th Kandahar motorised rifle brigade.
He said about his time in Afghanistan: “War was terrifying, only idiots are not afraid to die but we simply had no time to think about it.”
After finishing his military career in 1999 as a Colonel and Deputy Commander of the 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya division, Strelchenko first worked for the public utility system of Moscow and was then appointed Deputy Minister of Housing and Utilities, Fuel and Energy in the Moscow Region Government.
From 2003 to 2012 he was the Mayor of the city of Khimki just outside the capital city of Moscow.
Local media report the US authorities to believe Evil Corp is led by Maksim Yakubets. Reports state Yakubets drives a custom Lamborghini with a personalised licence plate which translates as ‘THIEF’.
Kovalsky, a keen driver, reportedly owns several luxury cars with the same licence plate.
A 5-million-USD reward has been placed on information leading to Yakubets’ arrest, the largest reward ever offered for a cybercriminal. No arrests have been reported.
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