It isn’t a good period for Russian cyber criminals, last week Roman Valeryevich Seleznev, aka “Track2”, was sentenced to 27 years in prison, he was convicted of causing $170 million in damage by hacking into point-of-sale systems.
Today the United States Department of Justice announced that Peter Yuryevich Levashov (36) (also known as Petr Levashov, Peter Severa, Petr Severa and Sergey Astakhov) has been arrested a couple of weeks ago in Barcelona for his involvement with the infamous Kelihos botnet.
According to a research conducted by CheckPoint Security, a malware landscape was characterized by some interesting changed in this first part of 2017.
The Kelihos botnet climbed to the top position, while the Conficker worm dropped to fourth on the chart of malware.
According to the DoJ statement, Levashov was charged last week with one count of causing intentional damage to a protected computer, one count of conspiracy, one count of accessing protected computers in furtherance of fraud, , two counts of fraud in connection with email, one count of wire fraud, one count of threatening to damage a protected computer, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
“A federal grand jury in Bridgeport, Connecticut, returned an eight-count indictment yesterday charging a Russian National with multiple offenses stemming from his alleged operation of the Kelihos botnet – a global network of tens of thousands of infected computers, which he allegedly used to facilitate malicious activities including harvesting login credentials, distributing bulk spam e-mails, and installing ransomware and other malicious software.” reads the statement.
The DoJ says Levashov sent spam urging recipients to buy shares as part of a “pump and dump” scam, among other naughtiness.
The indictment also alleges that the Russian hacker has used the Kelihos botnet for spam campaign that advertises various criminal schemes, including pump-and-dump stock fraud.
“On April 10, 2017, the Justice Department announced that it had taken action to dismantle the Kelihos botnet.” states the DoJ.
“An indictment is merely an allegation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”
(Security Affairs –Kelihos botnet, cybercrime)