24 July 2016
Find out more

SpyEye malware author pleads guilty

29 January 2014  |  2633 views  |  0 Computer virus

A Russian national has pleaded guilty in the US to developing and distributing the notorious SpyEye malware, which has infected more than a million computers and been used to steal millions of dollars.

Aleksandr Andreevich Panin, known online as 'Gribodemon' and 'Harderman', has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud.

Panin was the "primary developer and distributor" of the SpyEye virus, say authorities, selling different, tailored versions to at least 150 clients for prices ranging from $1000 to $8500.

The buyers used the malware to infect computers and remotely control them through command and control servers before stealing personal and financial information through Web injects, keystroke logging and credit card grabbers.

Authorities say that SpyEye was the world's pre-eminent malware toolkit between 2009 and 2011, making its way onto more than 1.4 million computers. One of Panin's clients, 'Soldier', is reported to have made more than $3.2 million in a six-month period.

Despite seeing its effectiveness diminish, the virus was still used to compromise more than 10,000 bank accounts last year, according to industry estimates.

In mid-2011 Panin sold a version of SpyEye to FBI agents in a sting. Later that year a grand jury returned a 23-count indictment against him and a co-defendant, Hamza Bendelladj.

Panin was arrested last July as he was passing through an airport in Atlanta and this week pleaded guilty. Bendelladj was picked up in Thailand last January and extradited to the US. His charges are pending.

US Attorney Sally Yates says: "As several recent and widely reported data breaches have shown, cyber-attacks pose a critical threat to our nation's economic security. Today's plea is a great leap forward in our campaign against those attacks."
KeywordsLEGAL

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board: sign up now

Related stories

Russian teen accused of writing Target malware

Russian teen accused of writing Target malware

20 January 2014  |  5844 views  |  4 comments | 8 tweets | 10 linkedin
Target hackers used POS malware to steal card details

Target hackers used POS malware to steal card details

14 January 2014  |  6410 views  |  0 comments | 5 tweets | 5 linkedin
Crooks use USB sticks to infect ATMs and steal cash

Crooks use USB sticks to infect ATMs and steal cash

06 January 2014  |  6859 views  |  2 comments | 11 tweets | 8 linkedin
UK malware fraudsters convicted

UK malware fraudsters convicted

12 November 2013  |  4794 views  |  0 comments | 2 tweets | 11 linkedin
South African POS terminals infected with Dexter malware

South African POS terminals infected with Dexter malware

15 October 2013  |  7171 views  |  0 comments | 4 tweets | 6 linkedin
Crooks jailed over online banking theft

Crooks jailed over online banking theft

03 July 2012  |  5334 views  |  0 comments
Banking Trojan hijacks out-of-band SMS security - Trusteer

Banking Trojan hijacks out-of-band SMS security - Trusteer

07 October 2011  |  9732 views  |  4 comments

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
Visit VocaLink.comFind out moreVisit capgemini.com

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
MasterCard agrees £700m VocaLink acquisitionMasterCard agrees £700m VocaLink acqu...
8236 views 14 comments | 32 tweets | 37 linkedin
hands typing furiouslyBanking on IoT: Security in the Internet o...
7921 views 3 | 19 tweets | 7 linkedin
hands typing furiouslyWhat Every FinTech CEO Should Know About R...
7908 views 0 | 14 tweets | 8 linkedin
satelliteContactless Bitcoin startup Plutus Tap &am...
7722 views comments | 6 tweets | 3 linkedin
Santander doubles down on fintech fundSantander doubles down on fintech fund
7625 views comments | 22 tweets | 28 linkedin

Featured job

Find your next job