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Bredolab Botnet Operator Gets Jail Time in Armenia

Georgy Avanesov, the 27-year-old bot herder responsible for infecting more than 30 million PCs, has been sentenced to four years in prison on charges of creating and spreading the Bredolab virus.

The malware operations lead to the infection of an estimated 30 million computers around the world between March 2009 and October 2010. The sensitive information (such as e-banking usernames and passwords, documents etc.) collected by the bot was sent to the attackers.

According to Armenian publication Aravot (Google Translate link), the Russian bot herder was convicted of “computer sabotage” and will serve four years in an Armenian prison. This is the first case of a person jailed for cybercrime in Armenia. This conviction will likely serve as a lesson for other bot herders in Eastern Europe, a region known as “tolerant” to cyber-crime.

In October 2010, Dutch authorities dealt a significant blow to the hacker group behind Bredolab by dismantling the command and control infrastructure hosted with Holland’s biggest hosting provider, Leaseweb.

Although evidence collected in 2010 shows the Bredolab-infected computers were not only robbed of data, but also used in a DDOS attack on the website of an antivirus company, Avanesov’s defense lawyer, Gegham Hakobian, claimed that his client wrote the Trojan, but was unaware of it being used with criminal intent.

About the author

Bogdan BOTEZATU

Bogdan Botezatu is living his second childhood at Bitdefender as senior e-threat analyst. When he is not documenting sophisticated strains of malware or writing removal tools, he teaches extreme sports such as surfing the web without protection or rodeo with wild Trojan horses. He believes that most things in life can be beat with strong heuristics and that antimalware research is like working for a secret agency: you need to stay focused at all times, but you get all the glory when you catch the bad guys.

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