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Crime Botnet The Courts

Citadel Botnet Operator Gets 4.5 Years In Prison 42

An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that Dimitry Belorossov, a.k.a. Rainerfox, an operator of the "Citadel" malware, has been sentenced to 4.5 years in prison following a guilty plea. Citadel was a banking trojan capable of stealing financial information. Belorossov and others distributed it through spam emails and malvertising schemes. He operated a 7,000-strong botnet with the malware, and also collaborated to improve it. The U.S. government estimates Citadel was responsible for $500 million in losses worldwide. Belorossov will have to pay over $320,000 in restitution.
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Citadel Botnet Operator Gets 4.5 Years In Prison

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  • by liquid_schwartz ( 530085 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @08:29AM (#50626111)
    For the damage and grief he caused people I'd be happy if he was locked up and the key thrown away. 4.5 years is far too light.
    • Bah ... how long were the guys on Wall Street who robbed the world by lying about the junk debt they'd repacked sentenced to? How about the ratings agencies who signed off and said the junk debt was AAA rated? What did they get?

      Yes, it's widespread fraud ... but $500 million worldwide is a drop in the bucket compared to what "legitimate" corporations have been doing.

      If we hadn't see people do far worse and get away with almost no penalty I'd be doing something other than guffawing and saying "yeah, right"

      • You can do fraud on much larger scales if you're a corporation and have made the right campaign donations. And you'll be hailed as a fucking hero.

        You catch the ones you can. The corporate bastards that steal often do it within the limitations of our legal system. It takes a collective effort to punish those corporations. People would rather write a blog about it and stop there instead trying to influence people into taking action such as boycotting. Proof of this is Apple. They used kids to build their products and they managed to escape the tax man yet they are the number 1 brand in the world and continue to make money like it grows on trees.

    • by ShaunC ( 203807 )

      Hold up, as the summary doesn't jive with the facts. From the DOJ's release, emphasis mine,

      According to industry estimates, Citadel, and other botnets like it, infected approximately 11 million computers worldwide and are responsible for over $500 million in losses. In 2012, Belorossov downloaded a version of Citadel, which he then used to operate a Citadel botnet primarily from Russia. Belorossov remotely controlled over 7,000 victim bots, including at least one infected computer system with an IP address resolving to the Northern District of Georgia.

      This guy didn't create the malware, he wasn't responsible for 11 million infections, nor was he responsible for $500 million in losses. He downloaded and tweaked some existing bank trojan, got it onto 7,000 computers, and stole some undetermined amount of money, which the DOJ has not disclosed but which is probably much closer to his restitution amount of ~$320K than it is to $500M.

  • Hail! (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    trojan capable of stealing financial information

    What about Microsoft, Google etc that do the same thing? Wait, never mind, they're not stealing your information, they're collecting it to "improve their services". I know I can trust a publicly traded American corporation. Hail Satan.

  • Hmmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    $500M in losses...$320k in restitution...hmmmm

    • Re:Hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @09:04AM (#50626363) Journal
      He purchased and downloaded a Citadel banking trojan.

      He's 22 now... so kitty or hacker? IDK.

      He was wrong, he is certainly a thief, and should be punished; but he's not responsible for anywhere near the whole Citadel fiasco.

    • Just because he caused that much damage (debatable) it is very likely he got nowhere near that amount of money.

      Also, you can't get blood from a stone.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    To have my own botnet. 4.5yrs for software that's responsible for $500M losses. Eve if his cut was just 1%, 4.5yrs in jail for $5M seems like a good deal to me.

  • 4.5 of prison for Bank Fraud!?!? $320.000 restitution for $500 million in losses!?!? Totally worth it! Too bad for me that work hard on my honest daily job... That is BS!
    • Hey nobody is holding a gun to your head if you want you can be as "cool" as he is starting today if you wanted. You could start a whole new life as your own Lex Luthor if you wanted. He still gets to eat off a green plastic tray for the next four and a half years so does it really sound that appealing now?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @09:00AM (#50626321)

    He should have incorporated his business. Then he could have just apologized as CEO and given himself a huge severance package as he walked out the door.

  • I bet he plans to surreptitiously allocate just a few days of his to sentence to each of his fellow prisoners. Of course, they would NOT appreciate that if they knew but if it's done carefully, they won't know. Heck, they won't even notice the difference.

    With his sentence fully processed in distributed form by his peers, I predict he'll be out in no time.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    my 2c

  • Citadel was a Microsoft Windows trojan ..
  • Hurray! Somebody went to jail! Did he actually do it, or was he some random schmuck railroaded into a guilty plea by overzealous cops and prosecutors? Who cares! Somebody went to jail! Hurray!

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken