Russian man gets 5-yr sentence for developing notorious malware

A US court has sentenced Mark Vartanyan for developing the notorious Citadel malware.

Vartanyan who helped develop the notorious malware called “Citadel” designed to steal personal financial information, was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday.

Also known as “Kolypto”, Vartanyan pleaded guilty in March to one count of computer fraud after he reached a deal with federal prosecutors and he is the second individual charged in connection to the sophisticated Citadel malware.

The 29-year-old man was arrested in Norway in October 2014 and was extradited to the US in December 2016. US District Court Judge said Vartanyan would receive two years of credit for time served in Norway prior to his extradition.

While living in Ukraine and Norway from 2012 to 2014, Vartanyan allegedly helped in the development, improvement, maintenance and distribution of Citadel, a malware toolkit designed to infect computer systems and steal financial account details, personal data and other sensitive information from targeted computer networks.

Threat actors who used the sophisticated malware targeted and exploited the networks of major financial and government institutions across the globe, including several US financial firms.

According to industry estimates, Citadel infected about 11 million computers globally, resulting in over $500m in losses.

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