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Russian Hacker Admits Committing PC Fraud with Citadel Malware Kit


A PC-hacker from Russia charged with creating and using Citadel toolkit an infamous malicious program that helped steal over $500m out of victims' bank accounts, having admitted committing computer fraud will have to serve a US jail for a maximum of ten years.


Twenty nine years old Mark Vartanyan created and spread Trojan Citadel that allows cyber-criminals to filch people's bank account particulars while lock access to their files unless a ransom is paid. According to US prosecutors, the Citadel malware contaminated approximately 11m PCs globally. The accused admitted guilt over committing PC fraud during prosecution in an Atlanta court following his extradition from Norway.


Vartanyan's extradition occurred during December after which during the current week he pleaded guilty while later in June he'll face a sentence.


US officials explain that the first circulation of the Citadel kit started during 2011 via forums in Russian language where it was available for buying and selling. Criminals acquiring the malware thus, utilized it for attacking government and financial organizations' computer networks.


Down the years, the malware contaminated about 11m PCs across the globe while being behind a loss of more than USD 500m.


Vartanyan duped the organizations with the help of a company he registered and acquired at Latvia while giving it some Asian firm's name. Thereafter, he created bank A/Cs for his company followed with dispatching e-mails to people while making the messages appear as being of that Asian firm. The e-mails would seek payments from victims who should deposit them into the bank A/Cs Vartanyan owned and regulated. Finextra.com posted this, March 23, 2017.


The PC-hacker agreed carrying out development, enhancement, preservation and dissemination of the Trojan Citadel during 2012-14 when he lived in Ukraine. Using the name Kolypto for his operations, Vartanyan uploaded many electronic files which contained the Trojan, its elements, security patches/updates along with customer details.


Previously during March, FBI Atlanta Office's special agent David LeValley suggested that with Vartanyan's arrest, cyber-criminals lost a significant resource.

The hacker is accused of committing wire-fraud once and money laundering thrice that carries up to twenty years of jail each.

» SPAMfighter News - 3/29/2017

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