Dr. Ransomware, Part 1
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The FBI’s Most Wanted list for cybercrime has a recent entry: Moises Luis Zagala Gonzalez. He is a 55-year-old cardiologist living in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela. He has a bald head and an earnest smile. In one photo, he wears a doctor’s white overcoat with a stethoscope around his neck. What is this man doing on that list? U.S. prosecutors allege Zagala lead a double life. They allege he’s also a cybercriminal. Zagala is charged in federal court in New York with developing ransomware applications called Jigsaw and Thanos that infected organizations and companies around the word. They claim his hacking career stretches back to the late 1990s when he was part of an expert reverse software engineering group. Who is Moises Zagala, and why does the U.S. think he’s a ransomware mastermind?
Speakers: Alexander Mindlin, Assistant United States Attorney, Eastern District of New York; Lindsay Kaye, Senior Director, Operational Outcomes, Insikt Group, Recorded Future; Thomas Holt, Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University; Ana Vanessa Herrero, Journalist; Jeremy Kirk, Executive Editor, Information Security Media Group.
Sources and transcript for this episode are here.
Special thanks to Ana Vanessa Herrero in Caracas for reporting and research that contributed to this episode. Thanks also to ISMG’s Tom Field and David Perera for production assistance.
Production Coordinator: Rashmi Ramesh
The Ransomware Files theme song by Chris Gilbert/©Ordinary Weirdos Records
Other original music by Chris Gilbert, India Kirk and Jeremy Kirk
Additional music by Podcastmusic.com
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