FBI charges Venezuelan doctor with using, selling 'Thanos' ransomware

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May 16, 2022 | CYBERSCOOP

The FBI announced charges Monday against a Venezuelan cardiologist that the bureau said was moonlighting as a cybercriminal mastermind, both designing and using ransomware that he bragged was deployed by Iranian state-sponsored hackers.

Moises Luis Zagala Gonzalez, who also went by the user names “Nosophoros,” “Aesculapius” and “Nebuchadnezzar,” is being charged with attempted computer intrusions and conspiracy to commit computer intrusions.

According to the complaint unsealed Monday, Zagala sold and rented out his ransomware software, providing cybercriminals with extensive training on how to use his product and even set up their own ransomware gangs.

One of his tools, titled “Thanos,” allowed users to create their own custom ransomware for a licensing fee of up to $800 a month. Another product, called “Jigsaw v. 2” had a built-in “Doomsday” counter feature that erased a victim’s hard drive after multiple attempts to remove the ransomware.

FBI screenshot of the Thanos software

Zagala’s products were widely praised by customers. One customer claimed in an online forum he used the Thanos software to infect 3,000 computers. Another Russian user praised Zagala’s customer support: “We have been working with this product for over a

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