Armenia jails Russian computer virus 'mastermind'

May 22, 2012

A court in Armenia on Tuesday gave a four-year jail sentence to the alleged Russian mastermind behind a computer virus crime group which infected some 30 million computers worldwide.

Hacker Georgiy Avanesov was convicted of computer sabotage, Armenian prosecutor's office spokeswoman Sonia Truzian told AFP.

"According to the evidence presented to the court, Avanesov, using a Botnet computer system which he created himself, committed on sites of different individual and legal entities and IP addresses and disrupted the normal functioning of these sites," Truzian said.

Avanesov was arrested at Yerevan airport in 2010 after the server network in the Netherlands used by the accused of being responsible for the notorious Bredolab virus was dismantled.

Investigators said at the time they had busted a network that used the servers in the Netherlands to infect at least 30 million computers worldwide with a virus that allowed criminals to obtain information like bank passwords.

The network was capable of infecting three a month and was sending an estimated 3.6 billion virus emails to users daily by the end of 2009, the investigators said.

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