US Court Sentences 55-Year-Old Russian Hacker to 3 Years in Prison

He has also been ordered to forfeit $1 million (800,000 EUR)

By on January 7th, 2013 08:51 GMT

Vladimir Zdorovenin, a 55-year-old Russian national accused of carrying out sophisticated cybercrimes has been given a three-year prison sentence by the Manhattan federal court.

Zdorovenin – who was arrested in Zurich, Switzerland, in March 2011 – was extradited in January 2012 to New York. He pleaded guilty to the accusations brought against him in February 2012.

According to the US Department of Justice, the man and his son, Kirill Zdorovenin, are accused of conspiring to steal the personal details, including credit card information, of several US citizens between 2004 and 2005, while residing in Russia.

To accomplish this task, he installed keyloggers on the computers of his victims. The pieces of malware allowed him to gain access to data which he used to make illegal purchases from various online businesses.

The fraudsters also transferred, or attempted to transfer, hundreds of thousands of dollars from their victims’ accounts to their own accounts, which they had set up in Russia and Latvia.

They also made a profit by hacking into online brokerage accounts. The cybercriminals bought and sold thousands of shares in an effort to manipulate stock prices.

Besides the prison sentence, Vladimir Zdorovenin has been ordered to forfeit $1 million (800,000 EUR). He will also have to pay restitution, but the amount has not been determined yet.

His son, and alleged co-conspirator, remains at large.

“From his perch halfway across the globe, Vladimir Zdorovenin engaged in a slew of cyber crimes that left multiple victims in the United States,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

“Cybercrime is particularly insidious because there is no need for geographic proximity between perpetrators and their victims, and Zdorovenin’s sentence today should serve as a reminder to others that law enforcement does not require geographic proximity to prosecute these crimes either.”

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