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Russian Hackers Will Go to Prison
January 14, 2011 16:37

An organized group of Russian hackers that have stolen more than 70 million dollars from U.S. bank accounts will spend only a few months in prison. The maximum sentence for such kind of cimes is about 20 years. This sentence is a result of their cooperating with the investigation. The FBI hopes to find the other participants in the criminal community.

The trial against Russian hackers resulted with a soft court verdict. On of the leaders of the criminal group, Alexander Fedorov has been sentenced to 10 months of imprisonment, a three-year supervision after release and a penalty of hundred dollars. Another hacker, 26-year-old Anton Yufertsyn has been also sentenced to 10 month of imprisonment, 23-year-old Alexander Sorokin has been sentenced to 6 month imprisonment and a penalty of 38 thousand dollars. The most harsh sentence for Fedorov could have been resulted with 20 years of imprisonment and about 500 thousand dollars penalty.

This process against Russian hackers began in autumn 2009. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Russian hackers has stolen more than 3 million dollars with the help of Trojan virus, named Zeus. The malware has been distributing via e-mails installing itself on a victim's computer. Zeus fixed all keystrokes and hackers recieved all the private information from the infected computer including PIN-codes to the credit cards, thus, the swindlers gained all the access to transfer money from one account to another. According to the FBI, the amount of stolen funds exceeded 70 million dollars.

According to Andrey Yarnykh, head of Kaspersky Laboratory of Internet Solutions, the functionality of Zeus virus is ordinary, like in any other malware, so the amount of stolen money is surprising.

According to the police investigation, Alexander Fedorov (nickname Make Money) has been coordinating the work of so-called "mules". These "mules" had been opening bank accounts to let the accomplices to transfer money and then forwarding the entire amount into another account or cashing at ATM's. "Mules" recieved from 8 to 10% from each operation. Fedorov, living in Los Angeles, has been chatting with mules through Russian social net, according to FBI information. The hacker band consisted from 37 hackers (25 of them were Russians, they all came to United States with student visas, according to the prosecution). FBI supposes that the think-tank of the group was located in Europe.

Talking about viruses, worms and other malware, a question arises: where does all that come from and who are Russian hackers? According to Enterprise Networking Planet, "many people believe that malware is controlled by organized criminal gangs or government agencies that target large foreign enterprises, and while this may be the case in some countries, it does not appear to be true in Russia". Russian security expers has been browsering the Net and found out, that the majority of so-called hackers are just geeks, not gangsters or criminals. Many people do some prohibited stuff just for fun. On the other hand, there are also many real genious professionals in this sphere, thanks to the Russia's technical education. Certainly, studies don't learn hacking at class, they just help with the right direction. Evgeny Kaspersky describes Russia as a nation of "super hackers". "Russian attacks look more professional. The malware and design is more complicated and more technical, than cyber-attacks of some other countries," — says Evgeny Kaspersky. According to BBC, "a whole new generation of cyber-specialists is working its way through the country's colleges. Soon, they too will be faced with a choice: whether to set their minds to creating sophisticated information protection systems, or join the ranks of Russia's hackers for hire."

Ksenia Dzha

Tags: Russian Internet Russian Hackers Russian International   

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