A RUSSIAN MAN has been sentenced to almost four years in an American prison for running a botnet that targeted Linux systems.
Maxim Senakh, of Veliky Novgorod in Russia, was arrested in Finland in 2015 and extradited to the USA to face charges. He pleaded guilty in March and was sentenced in Minnesota this month.
The Ebury botnet is believed to have affected 'tens of thousands' of machines, including thousands in the States, by harvesting log-on credentials from infected servers, writes the US Department of Justice. The botnet was used in various scams, such as click-fraud and email spamming campaigns, generating 'millions of dollars'.
Senakh admitted that he created accounts with domain registrars, which helped to build the botnet infrastructure, and directly profited from the traffic generated.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco said that Senakh and his co-conspirators "sought to turn a network of thousands of infected computers in the United States and around the world into their personal cash machines."
"Working within a massive criminal enterprise, Maxim Senakh helped create a sophisticated infrastructure that victimized thousands of Internet users across the world," said Acting U.S. Attorney Gregory Brooker.
He continued, "As society becomes more reliant on computers, cyber criminals like Senakh pose a serious threat. This Office, along with our law enforcement partners, are committed to detecting and prosecuting cyber criminals no matter where they reside."
The Ebury malware was specifically designed to target Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris systems. It has been used to attack the Linux Foundation, as well as the Linux Kernal Organisation's kernel.org website. A 27-year old American man, Donald Ryan Austin of Florida, was arrested for that hack last year and is awaiting charges.
Richard Thornton, the Special Agent in Charge, said, "The sentence handed down today sends a strong message to international cyber criminals who mistakenly believe they can prey on the American people with impunity. The FBI is committed to working closely with our global law enforcement partners to investigate criminal enterprises such as this and hold those responsible to account for their crimes wherever they may be."
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