New York • A computer virus that spread to more than a million computers worldwide, including some at NASA, and produced at least $50 million in illegal profits or losses to victims should be a "wake-up call" for banks and consumers unaware of the threat posed by Internet criminals, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and George Venizelos, head of the New York FBI office, warned of the growing threat to financial and international security as they announced that a 2½-year probe had resulted in three arrests, two of them overseas, and the seizure of vast amounts of computer-related evidence that will take months or years to fully analyze. They said the Gozi virus had infected 40,000 computers in the United States since 2005, including 190 at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, along with computers in Germany, Great Britain, Poland, France, Finland, Italy, Turkey and elsewhere.
"This case should serve as a wake-up call to banks and consumers alike because cybercrime remains one of the greatest threats we face, and it is not going away anytime soon," Bharara said. "It threatens individuals, businesses and governments alike."