A federal judge sentenced Russian citizen for installing malicious computer software or malware on tens of thousands of computer servers throughout the world to generate millions of dollars in fraudulent payments, according to officials.
“Working within a massive criminal enterprise, Maxim Senakh helped create a sophisticated infrastructure that victimized thousands of Internet users across the world,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Gregory G. Brooker. “As society becomes more reliant on computers, cybercriminals like Senakh pose a serious threat. This Office, along with our law enforcement partners, are committed to detecting and prosecuting cybercriminals no matter where they reside.”
Maxim Senakh, 41, of Veliky Novgorod, Russia, was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison. He will be deported following his release from prison, according to officials.
Senakh plead guilty on March 28, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, according to authorities.
He was indicted on Jan. 13, 2015, and was subsequently arrested by Finnish authorities, who extradited him to the U.S. in February 2016.
According to admissions made in connection with the plea agreement, the malware, which is known as Ebury, harvested log-on credentials from infected computer servers.
It allowed Senakh and his co-conspirators to create and operate a botnet comprising tens of thousands of infected servers throughout the world, including thousands in the U.S., officials said.
Senakh and his co-conspirators used the Ebury botnet to generate and redirect internet traffic in furtherance of various click-fraud and spam e-mail schemes, which fraudulently generated millions of dollars in revenue.
As part of his plea, Senakh admitted that he supported the criminal enterprise by creating accounts with domain registrars that helped develop the Ebury botnet infrastructure and personally profited from traffic generated by the Ebury botnet, according to officials.