MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian national pleaded guilty in Atlanta to creating malware that infected 1.4 million computers and extracted credit card information, the FBI said Tuesday.
Aleksandr Panin admitted in a federal court in Atlanta to creating SpyEye program, which he then sold to clients with “nefarious” purposes, the agency said in a statement.
The program allowed users to create botnets, or networks of infected computers, and steal users’ personal information.
Many affected machines were located in the United States.
Between 2009 and 2011, Panin sold the program to some 150 clients for anywhere between $1,000 and $8,500, the FBI said.
At least one client recouped his investment manifold, making $3.2 million through SpyEye, Krebsonsecurity.com digital news website said.
Panin, 24, a native of central Russia’s Tver Region, was seized in the Dominican Republic last year.
His arrest and extradition prompted an outcry from the Russian government, long disgruntled with US seizures or Russian criminal suspects such as Panin and convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Panin, who operated under the nicknames “Harderman” and “Gribodemon” (“Mushroom Demon”), faces up to 30 years behind bars, Krebsonsecurity said, citing the hacker’s lawyer.
The man’s alleged accomplice, Algerian national Hamza Bendelladj, was also extradited to the United States last year after being arrested in Thailand.