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Russian Imprisoned for 4.5 years for Citadel Malware

Fbi.gov published news on 29th September, 2015 quoting the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), as saying "Dimitry Belorossov, a/k/a Rainerfox, has been sentenced to imprisonment for four years and six months following his confession of conspiring to carry out computer fraud. Belorossov circulated and installed Citadel that is a sophisticated malware which infected more than 11 million computers of victims across the world by using different infection methods."

Fbi.gov published news on 29th September, 2015 quoting the charges and other details presented in court by US Attorney John Horn, as: "In late 2011, a malware toolkit called "Citadel" started appearing for trade on invite-only Internet website forums often visited by cyber crooks. Citadel was an advanced form of malware dubbed as a "banking Trojan" designed to embezzle online banking details, personal information, credit card credentials and ultimately drain out funds through unlawful electronic transfers. Citadel electronically contaminated the computers of innocent individuals and financial institutions building "bots" which cybercriminals like Belorossov remotely accessed and controlled."

DOJ said: "Cybercriminals including Belorossov dispensed and installed Citadel into computers of victims by using different infection techniques including tainted attachments to spam and commercial online ads consisting malware or links to malware. Several editions of Citadel have been circulated and operated globally since 2011. Citadel became one of the most sophisticated crimeware tools obtainable from the underground marketplace because it had the capability to block antivirus websites on infected systems together with other things. According to industry approximations, Citadel and other similar botnets infected around 11 million computers all over the world and are responsible for stealing more than $500 million."

Moreover, DOJ claims that Belorossov downloaded a version of Citadel in 2012 which he, later on, employed to operate a Citadel botnet principally from Russia. Belorossov distantly controlled more than 7,000 victim bots including no less than one tainted system with an IP address resolving to the Northern District of Georgia. According to DOJ, Citadel botnet of Belorossov contained personal details embezzled from the infected computers of victims including online banking details for US-based financial bodies with federally insured deposits, credit card credentials and other personal identifying information.

The FBI is lauding the case as evidence because its effort is fruitful in prosecuting international cybercriminals.

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