Russian hackers surface again!

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March 15, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– RiaNovosti – Translated by James Harmon

Alexei Bogdanovsky reports that US prosecutors extradited Russian citizen Mark Vartanian from Norway to the US, who had developed and released a virus causing damage amounting to 500 million dollars.

Vartanian was present Tuesday at the first court hearing on his case after his extradition, held in December 2016. The prosecution accused the defense of one episode of computer fraud.

“Russian citizen Mark Vartanian, also known as Kolypto, presumably developed, improved and maintained a malware program ‘Citadel’ ” It is estimated that, in the industry, Citadel has infected about 11 million computers around the world and brought losses of more than $ 500 million”, stated a release from the US Attorney’s office for the Northern district of Georgia. 

US Attorney  said that the extradition is a good example of international law enforcement cooperation. “The role allegedly played by this person in question, in the development and improvement of ‘Citadel’,  has caused huge financial losses to individuals and financial institutions around the world,” Horn stated.

According to Horn, Vartanian was a “significant player” in the community of hackers. According to prosecutors, Vartanian was engaged in creation of the program in 2012-2013, while living in Ukraine, and then continued to work in Norway in 2014.

In September 2015 the 22-year-old Russian citizen Dmitry Belorossov was sentenced in Georgia to 4.5 years in prison for the installation of “Citadel” on a victim’s computers. It is alleged that the man downloaded a copy of the virus and use it to set up a network of seven thousand infected computers.

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