clear
Saturday May 23rd, 2015 11:03PM

Feds: Russian man who created SpyEye pleads guilty

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) -- A Russian man who federal authorities say created a computer program used to drain bank accounts pleaded guilty Tuesday to a conspiracy charge.

Aleksandr Andreevich Panin, who's also known as "Gribodemon," pleaded guilty Tuesday to a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

Another man, Hamza Bendelladj, was also indicted in the case and pleaded not guilty in May after being extradited from Thailand, where he was arrested a year ago.

Authorities say the 24-year-old Panin is the main author of SpyEye. The program is a banking Trojan, which was implanted onto computers to harvest financial information and drain bank accounts. Authorities have said the malware impacted 253 financial institutions and is responsible for untold amounts of financial theft.

Trojans such as SpyEye can be profitable for cybercriminals. A small group of hackers in Eastern Europe arrested in 2010 was able to steal about $70 million from companies, municipalities and churches in Europe and the U.S.

SpyEye was designed to automatically steal sensitive information - such as bank account credentials, credit card information, passwords and PIN numbers - after being implanted in victims' computers. After the program took control of a computer, it allowed hackers to use a number of covert techniques to trick victims into giving up their personal information - including data grabbing and presenting victims with a fake bank account page. The information was then relayed to a command and control server, which was used to access bank accounts.

Panin and Bendelladj were indicted in December 2011.

Bendelladj was on a trip from Malaysia to Egypt when he was arrested during a layover at an airport in Bangkok on Jan. 5, 2013. Police seized two laptops, a tablet computer, a satellite phone and external hard drives.

Authorities say the men developed and sold various versions of SpyEye and its components on the Internet between 2009 and 2011. Cybercriminals were able to customize their purchases to choose specific methods of gathering personal information from victims. They are also said to have advertised SpyEye on Internet forums focused on cybercrime and other criminal activity.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 4 months ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 4 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 4 months ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
US rejects nuclear disarmament document over Israel concerns
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States on Friday blocked a global document aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons, saying Egypt and other states tried to "cynically manipulate" the process by...
9:33PM ( 1 day ago )
Obama again avoids calling 1915 Armenian killings 'genocide'
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to ful...
1:00PM ( 1 month ago )
Ex-NFL star Hernandez convicted of murder, sentenced to life
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the d...
8:54PM ( 1 month ago )
Clinton kicks off 2016 campaign online, heads next to Iowa
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton jumped back into presidential politics on Sunday, making a much-awaited announcement she will again seek the White House with a promise to serve as the "champi...
7:56PM ( 1 month ago )
Hall, White, Jefferson schools recognized nationally for use of technology
Three school districts in northeast Georgia - Hall, White, and Jefferson - have received national recognition for their use use of innovative technologies. They earned top spots in the Center for Digital Education's and the National School Boards Association's 10th annual Digital School Districts Survey.
By Staff
1:00PM ( 1 month ago )