Latvian Virus King Sentenced

Ruslans Bondars, a 37-year-old Latvian citizen, was convicted of conspiracy to violate computer crime laws, commit wire fraud, and computer intrusion with intent to cause damage and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

He is the creator of a notorious service called scan4you that helped malware authors avoid detection by anti-virus software.

He charged criminals a monthly fee and his service allowed them to upload their latest malware to receive a report on whether any of a wide range of anti-virus products would detect it as malicious.

Although Scan4You was not the only counter anti-virus service operating on the web, it became the most popular amongst online criminals.

One of the most infamous pieces of malware which took advantage of Scan4You’s service was the Citadel malware, which was then used to steal tens of millions of customer credit card details from US retail giant Target.

Citadel is thought to have infected millions of computers worldwide, inflicting hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage.

Scan4You was advertised on online criminal forums and even offered technical support to its paying customers.

Bondars, who has also been linked to pharmaceutical spam campaigns peddling illegal prescription drugs, and assisting in the distribution of banking trojans, told the court that he felt “ashamed that some of the website users used it for such terrible things.”

Good riddance, at least for 14 years.

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