An Atlanta judge has sentenced two international hackers to a combined 24 years in prison for their roles in creating and distributing the SpyEye botnet creation kit.
Aleksandr Andreevich Panin, a 27-year-old Russian national that went by the name “Gribodemon,” was picked up by authorities at an Atlanta-area airport on July 1, 2013, and pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud several months later. According to the Department of Justice, Panin was the core developer and distributor of the botnet toolkit. He received a sentence of nine years, six months in prison that will be followed by three years of supervised release.
Hamza Bendelladj, a 27-year-old Algerian national that admitted last year to helping Panin develop and sell the kit, was arrested on January 5, 2013, at an airport in Bangkok, Thailand. He received a sentence of 15 years to be followed by three years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney John Horn said it’s difficult to overstate the significance of this case, not only in terms of bringing two prolific computer hackers to justice, but also in disrupting and preventing immeasurable financial losses to individuals and the financial industry around the world.
Horn notes that SpyEye was the preeminent malware banking trojan from 2010 to 2012. It was allegedly used by cybercriminals to infect over 50 million computers and ultimately caused nearly $1 billion in financial harm to individuals and financial institutions around the world.