Estonia on Thursday said it would extradite Estonian citizen Anton Ivanov to the United States over alleged cyber crimes involving such popular websites as iTunes, Netflix and the US tax service.
"The person whom the government decided to extradite to the US is suspected of organizing an Internet fraud conspiracy, committing Internet fraud, interfering with computers and committing other cyber crimes," an Estonian government press release said.
The alleged cyber crimes, which took place between 2007 and October 2011, involved redirecting users searching for websites such as iTunes, Netflix and even the US tax agency and NASA to other sites.
The US indictment said the group engaged in "click hijacking fraud," by directing the user of an infected computer who clicks on a search result to a website different from the one they wanted.
"Altogether US authorities are seeking the extradition of six Estonian citizens in the same criminal case," Estonian prosecutor Eve Olesk told AFP Thursday.
"Four of them are under criminal investigation in Estonia and the issue of their extradition can be decided after our own investigation is completed," Olesk added.
In addition to the six ethnic Russians bearing Estonian citizenship, US authorities also suspect a Russian citizen of infecting computers, including NASA machines, with malware as part of an online advertising scam that reaped at least $14 million (10.7 million euros).
The six Estonians suspected by the US in this cyber crime case have been identified as Vladimir Tsastsin, 31, Timur Gerassimenko, 31, Dmitri Jegorov, 33, Valeri Aleksejev, 31, Konstantin Poltev, 28, and Anton Ivanov, 26.
They were all arrested in Estonia.
According to the indictment forwarded by the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, all seven suspects engaged in a "massive and sophisticated scheme that infected at least four million computers located in over 100 countries."
Around 500,000 of the infected computers were in the United States, according to the indictment, and at least 10 belonged to the US space agency NASA.
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