Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


US prosecutors accuse Venezuelan doctor of being ransomware mastermind

Moises Luis Zagala Gonzalez is charged with building a type of ransomware that burst on the cybercriminal scene in 2019 and was used in multiple high-profile hacks on organizations in the Middle East, including some incidents tied to Iranian government hackers.

Justice Department officials accused Zagala of building up an elaborate cybercriminal enterprise, in which he took a vested economic and reputational interest in his software being used in successful hacks. The cardiologist continued to see patients while trafficking in ransomware, according to the Justice Department.

Zagala’s case is unusual in that he is far older than the typical cybercriminal suspect. Zagala, whom US prosecutors said lives in the Venezuela city of Ciudad Bolivar, also belies the stereotype of ransomware actors hailing from Eastern Europe and Russia.

“We allege Zagala not only created and sold ransomware products to hackers, but also trained them in their use,” Michael Driscoll, assistant-director-in-charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, said in a statement.

Zagala could not be reached for comment. The prospects of Zagala being apprehended and extradited to the US are uncertain and the US and Venezuelan governments have been at odds for years.

As part of the US investigation into Zagala, the FBI surreptitiously bought access to one of his hacking tools and relied on confidential informants in the cybercriminal world to build a case, the Justice Department said.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like


On Friday, Willow’s crate was spotted being carried by a staff member from the White House residence to Marine One, the presidential helicopter that...


“As a teacher, I’ve imagined that scene in my own classroom, again and again,” said Biden during remarks at the National Parent Teachers Association’s...


Navarro is charged with contempt of Congress after failing to appear for testimony or turn over documents in the House select committee’s investigation. While...


The hearing, which had been scheduled for Wednesday but was postponed until next week, would feature former top Trump administration legal officials who stood...


Paladino, then a Buffalo school board member, was defending himself against allegations that previous comments he made were racist and said he cared about...


But there was a striking change from pre-2020 briefings: It touched on violent threats to election officials that stem from conspiracy theories about the...


But inside the Treasury Department, teams of sanctions experts view that resilience as a mirage. In exclusive interviews with CNN, top Treasury Department officials...


The presidential election controversy is roiling the Supreme Court again, as the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, US Capitol attack continues...