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The perpetual battle to stop fraud in an ever-expanding digital world

Digital fraud has surged as the COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated the use of computers and cell phones for everything from banking to shopping. Here’s the latest on the evolving threat landscape and what CFEs and security experts are doing to stop cybercrime.

In October of last year, Vladimir Dunaev found himself sitting in a U.S. federal court accused of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, aggravated identity theft, wire and bank fraud, and money laundering. The Russian national, who’d been extradited from South Korea that same month, was a member of a cybercriminal gang known for deploying banking malware called Trickbot.

Dunaev had been a developer responsible for executing the malware attacks and preventing security software from detecting the malicious code, which helps criminals steal online banking login credentials and harvests other personally identifiable information (PII). Trickbot remains one of the most popular malware among cybercriminal organizations, partly because it’s so flexible and can be customized for different types of frauds. (See “December 2021’s Most Wanted Malware: Trickbot, Emotet and the Log4j plague,” Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., Jan. 12, 2022.)

Between November 2015 and August 2020, Dunaev and his co-conspirators allegedly stole money and confidential information from individuals, financial institutions, school districts, utility companies, government entities and private businesses across the globe. (See “Russian National Extradited to United States to Face Charges for Alleged Role in Cybercriminal Organization,” U.S. Department of Justice, Oct. 28, 2021.)

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