Russian-Armenian botnet master made $140,000 a month

By on October 29, 2010, 9:22 PM
An undercover operation by Dutch and Russian authorities resulted in the arrest of Georg Avanesov earlier this week. Avanesov had allegedly been running a network of hacked computers around the world, typically referred to as a botnet, for over a decade. According to a source close to law enforcement, the 27-year-old made millions during that time frame.

Avanesov is suspected to be one of the curators of Bredolab, a trojan horse usually distributed through email attachments or downloaded inadvertently through browser security holes. Once infected, a computer running Bredolab can be used to download and execute files from the Internet. Dutch prosecutors believe that Avanesov made up to 100,000 ($138,950) a month from renting and selling part of his botnet to other cybercriminals for limited periods of time. They in turn used it to send their own spam or mine the PCs for personal data and files.

Avanesov was able to sell parts of the botnet off "because it was very easy for him to extend the botnet again," by infecting more PCs, a Public Prosecution Service in Rotterdam spokesperson told ComputerWorld. At its peak, Bredolab could send billions of spam e-mail messages in a month and is accounted for infecting millions of computers in a relatively short span of time.





User Comments: 59

Got something to say? Post a comment
princeton princeton said:

Wow. It's really stunning what these people make from sending out viruses to string together botnets.

oasis789 said:

its pretty amazing how many people have no idea what their computers are doing.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

To bad for all the people that were infected by this i feel sorry for them. wish i could make 10k a month jesh

Scshadow said:

Uh... anyone know how to start a botnet? I could sure use 100k a month.

onzfeat said:

genius, but wrong way to use his ability

omega00 said:

argh... I'm definitely in the wrong line of work. It's sad that more users/businesses aren't securing their computers in order to slow the spread of malware.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

onzfeat said:

genius, but wrong way to use his ability

agree!

too bad, but this seem to be always the case, you have some big potentials, you don't get much attention until you take the wrong path.

cheers!

Guest said:

Dear Readers and message repliers.

I also heard besides this genius mind, that in armenia, I.T experts were the people who invented the Bluetooth that is used on phones and p.c's.

But what is upsetting is that this person may have done the wrong thing to make money, but when you have jackals like american corporations who have basically bribed armenian I.T experts into pocket change rewards for innovation i dont think they would have any other choice, these armenians are extremely intellingent and the american I.T corporations in armenia have a base in that country with armenian IT people working to invent things. all they get is a measly 5k for it, i doubt the bluetooth invention was worth 5k to the genius who invented it while the americans got billions or millions in profit. Isnt this slave labour and bribery ? Yes it is.

thanks for reading, now you are all aware !

Regards

Steven Z.

ElDaFree said:

What a jerk. Must be a smart jerk though.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

@Guest/Steven - ??? Pretty sure Swedes invented bluetooth for the Swedish company Ericsson.

hitech0101 said:

This seems to a part of what he made more stuff will come out after the investigation is over.

uttaradhaka said:

I still don't know the joy of earning millions of dollars while staring at my computer screen. I guess I'll never know.

But still, I wonder, why these brilliant people couldn't earn their fortune in a legal way. Anyway, at least there'll be some less spam in the world now I guess!!!

lyladeeasperin said:

It is exhilarating to read this article. If everything is legal in this world, where's the fun in it?! No offense to you dear readers. Just kidding. Of course, I still prefer legal geeky activities just like the facebook.com business. The accidental billionaires. What do you think?

Uvindu said:

This guy could have had a clean life and also made more money if he was doing something legal. He could have had a very successfull career in the computing industry. Why is it that a lot of these cybercriminals have something to do with russia?

ZipZpZowie said:

It's too bad these people can't use their inteligence in a beneficial way. But it is amazing that people don't take better care of their computers with AV/firewall/malicious software protection.

ryan29121 said:

Its crazy to think that this person made this much money from viruses. I hope this dude goes to jail a long time.

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

With all the money being made it's no wonder there's so much cyber-crime. This is probably not too unusual either. Some of the companies making that scareware malware rake in millions and millions.

fritz123 said:

just shows how fast these criminals operate. this is a showcase on how vulnerable our pc's are. imagine how much money they harvest for doing something unwanted. considering his age im guessing he's a real genius. making millions at that young age is just amazing. he should have put his knowledge to good use

Puiu Puiu said:

It just goes to show that with a bit of knowledge and no fear of the police you can make tons of money. is it that hard to have a antivirus installed? (and it's painfully clear that for many the answer is yes)

Guest said:

Uhm, some of you seem to be forgetting he got caught and is going to get stripped of all his earnings, thrown in a Russian jail for a few years, and come out with a criminal record and possibly some sort of restriction on his access to computers. Yeah, he made a ton of money, but now the rest of his life is ruined basically; happens to the majority of the most successful career criminals (that or getting murdered by rivals).

sMILEY4ever said:

I know a cybercriminal too, though he's not a botnet master. He's making 10k $ a month, and the hilarious part is that he's like "it's no big deal". I'm sad because I knew him about a decade and couldn't guess he'd earn so much now.

Guest said:

I would have done samething. But, i would have lived in Sweden where jails are much nicer.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I would kill to make that kind of money every month but i wouldn't want to earn it that way. I have never understood people who hack others computers you know if you did it to them they would be pissed off.

Se7enVII said:

That is pretty insane. Spam/viruses are huge money makers. Glad the guy got caught.

killamoves said:

Where do I sign up for 140k a month

kazarm said:

Its offending criminals are making this kind of money. I hope he will get a long time in jail.

thedrelle said:

I am amazed at this. simply amazed. and still, more and more computers fall to scams and spyware.

oasis789 said:

how do i know my system isnt part of a botnet?

archd said:

well ....

i am absolutely sure that after some month in jail he will be free (agree to joint force with the authorities) and open a new IT security company

Razerblade said:

That is shocking how much he made just from selling a botnet and it wasn't even forever, only for specific amounts of time! Least he has been stopped now!

wcbert said:

When is comes to the internet crimes does pay and in this case it pays very well.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Relic said:

@Guest/Steven - ??? Pretty sure Swedes invented bluetooth for the Swedish company Ericsson.

You're right, they did. Guest/Steven Z. is a troll. Bluetooth was invented in 1994 by Sven Mattisson and Jaap Haartsen while they were working for Ericsson.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

kazarm said:

Its offending criminals are making this kind of money. I hope he will get a long time in jail.

Um... drug dealers?

vangrat said:

Scshadow said:

Uh... anyone know how to start a botnet? I could sure use 100k a month.

XD I am sure everyone on this forum is thinking the same damn thing. And, at the same time, going ..meh too much effort. LOL.

Guest said:

Hah ! to Legal and proper channels. The biggest crime and criminals are sitting running the Governments, Countries,Court Houses and all that. And you still believe in that system? I am shocked when will the Americans people wake up and not be blinded by the light or dust . Apparently you still don't understand what is the game on the table. Big fish eating little fish ! something like that. Jesus was a Genius too and took the legal path and correct way ! They spared him not also. Anyone took a deep look in the American system? its all devised for corruption. New Laws added and invented to protect the big and the rich and slow death to the poor public. How many of you have lost your homes in past 5 years? Don't fool yourselves no more and open your eyes because the world has changed into a killer dressed as a High Priest walking ahead of Devil. Devil itself is out of business ! Humans have taken over in every shape and form devil's job. If i am wrong then why is there no Prosperity , Peace and things like that in and around your lives ! Ask yourselves really who is wrong and who are wronged. Twisting the words Americans are best at it. I mean the Ones playing and running the show. General public as good as programmed robots or slaves.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Amen brother. Now take your Xanax. There's very little to be done about the system that's in place. It's too big to fight, and if you join it, you become it.

ruzveh said:

How can a hacker earn so much money from? Weird

FransB said:

Hopefully Leaseweb (the provider in The netherlands where his servers were) can keep this shit out .

But good job guys.

Tanstar said:

Makes me want to go rogue :P

cardriverx said:

Could he have? Making 130,000 a month is VERY hard if done legal. Just saying.

tonylukac said:

I don't believe that much money is gotten from these schemes. This just covers up the fact that perhaps microsoft or computer manufacturers write viruses. Who else knows the internals of windows like this?

mpsteel said:

thedrelle said:

I am amazed at this. simply amazed. and still, more and more computers fall to scams and spyware.

replace computers with users.

You shouldn't be amazed, people these days are just not as computer literate as they should be. More and more businesses are forcing there customers onto the internet to uses there services, so the ol Joe Blogg doesn't have a clue about key loggers and the like. So where ever there is an opportunity, there are takers.

Minimise the opportunities, you'll minimise the takers.

arod916 said:

Governments worldwide need to crack down on these criminal rings with extremely harsher penalties. With the world growing in technological dependency, these criminals need to be made examples of. There should be a NATO like international org devoted to counter measures and guidelines.

Guest said:

These type of people are scoundrels... the absolute dreggs of society. They prey off unsuspecting people and are spineless thieves... (ie: *******)

Even petty thieves have more gaul then these creeps.

Sadly, this is just another Russian story, of how pethetic that country has become. My co-worker got robbed twice in Moscow on his HoneyMoon last year. Most hackers in games are Russian.

They should fix their own government instead of internationally stealing money.

demonlord721 said:

I'm all for eBusiness and entrepreneurship online, but I would like to see more people do it the legitimate way.

rattlertech said:

Wow and i just thought they made virus just for the hell of it.

IkarugaShiver said:

uttaradhaka said:

I still don't know the joy of earning millions of dollars while staring at my computer screen. I guess I'll never know.

But still, I wonder, why these brilliant people couldn't earn their fortune in a legal way. Anyway, at least there'll be some less spam in the world now I guess!!!

^THIS x1000. Perhaps I'm a man of simple pleasures, but I've never understood why people who make money illegally overextend their operations so much... $140,000 a month? People are going to want to TAKE YOU DOWN. $10,000 a month? Geesh, still seems like a lot to me, but at least you wouldn't be AS wanted... XP

thaddio said:

Yeah and now they can have fun with the money in jail. Good riddance.

Brodieeee said:

klepto12 said:

I would kill to make that kind of money every month but i wouldn't want to earn it that way

So let me get this straight, you would kill for it, but not infect peoples computers?

AbsolutGaloot said:

It'll be very interesting to see if this kind of problem will be as prevalent in the near future now that the generation of kids that grew up with computers is getting out of college. Though, given from what I saw working for the campus IT, the answer is probably yes since most people can't be bothered to know what their computer is doing so long as they can get to their email and facebook.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.