(Reuters) – A Russian national that was arrested latest research by vacation has long been faced with criminal hacking offenses pertaining to operating the Kelihos botnet within the eight-count indictment passed by a federal grand jury in Connecticut, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday.
Peter Yuryevich Levashov, 36, was indicted on Thursday by the grand jury in Bridgeport and convicted of causing intentional destruction of a protected computer and wire fraud, among other counts, the Justice Department said from a statement.
Last week the Justice Department announced it had launched a feat to use across the Kelihos botnet, that has infected computers that ran Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Corp's Windows based pc, after Spanish authorities arrested Levashov because was away with his family in Barcelona.
The Kelihos botnet can be a global network of hundreds of thousands of infected computers,
Levashov used Kelihos for ages to distribute during virtually any 24-hour period a lot more than 2,500 spam emails for various criminal schemes, including pump-and-dump stock fraud, password thefts and distribution of malware, including ransomware, the indictment alleges.
Levashov remains detained under a major international arrest warrant. The Justice Department stated it is looking to get his extradition towards United states of america in order to manage charges.
The Russian Embassy in Washington was not able to be reached for comment. It couldn\’t be determined if Levashov has retained a legal counsel.
The Kelihos botnet has been a way to obtain criminal activity targeting computer users worldwide since not less than 2010, a Justice Department official told reporters yesterday. The botnet sometimes grew bigger than 100,000 simultaneously infected devices, operate said.
Botnets are often rented out for multiple criminal uses in addition.
Russian-state media service RT reported recently that Levashov was arrested regarding the U.S. government's belief that Moscow interfered in last year's U.S. presidential election to help you Republican Mr . trump win.
The Justice Department official said, however, which the Kelihos case has not been attached to election hacking, additionally, the indictment could not make any mention of it.
Levashov, who\’s for ages been considered the likely identity of online persona often known as Peter Severa, spent years listed as one of the world's 10 most prolific computer spammers by Spamhaus, a spam-tracking group.