US Charges 60 in Connection With the Zeus Trojan

U.S. authorities have charged more than 60 people in connection with the money-stealing Zeus Trojan program, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The arrests follow a Tuesday U.K. sweep that led to 11 charges against Eastern European citizens thought to be involved in moving stolen funds out of the country.

Zeus has been a major problem for computer users and financial institutions over the past few years. Once installed on the victim's PC, the malware can be used to log into a victim's bank account and transfer funds to another account controlled by the criminals.

The malicious software is sold in black market forums and there are more than a dozen Zeus gangs in operation worldwide. Security experts say that the gangs have netted more than US$200 million since Zeus was discovered in 2006.

The U.S. arrests involve so-called money mules, people who are paid to set up accounts that receive stolen funds and then move the money out of the country, typically via a wire service such as Western Union.

The DOJ has scheduled a press conference in Manhattan on Thursday afternoon to further discuss the arrests.

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