The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Interpol and government agencies from several European countries reportedly have taken control of two computer networks allegedly used by hackers to steal banking information.
Officials in the United States and Europe said the bust, reported by the New York Times on Monday, marks the disruption "of two of the world's most pernicious viruses, which have infected millions of computers worldwide."
The international operation targeted two systems: GameOver Zeus, which hackers from overseas use to steal data from U.S. banks; and CryptoLocker, which typically used to infect a computer and encrypt data so they become inaccessible.
CryptoLocker is also known as "ransomware" because hackers will demand a ransom from users to unlock the files. Citing security experts, the Times reported that since CryptoLocker started spreading in 2013, people have paid untold millions to in ransom to avoid having their files permanently deleted.
Over the weekend, government agents in Europe and the United States took control of the servers that operated the attacking software and identified a 30-year-old suspect from Russia, Evgeniy Bogachev, known as Lucky12345, as the man behind the attacks, according to court documents and Europol, the European Union's police intelligence agency.
The Justice Department has planned a news conference for Monday afternoon to discuss the operation.