The Ministry of Justice announced the sentencing of two residents of Eastern Europe, who several years ago ran a “bulletproof” hosting, which is very popular among authors of various malware.
Let me remind you that we have already written about this story. The hosting, whose name has not been disclosed, was founded by Russian citizens Alexander Grichishkin and Andrey Skvortsov, who then hired Lithuanian Alexander Skorodumov and Estonian Pavel Stassi as system administrator and manager, respectively. Grichishkin and Skvortsov themselves were involved in marketing, personnel management and customer support, while Skorodumov and Stassi maintained all systems in working order and helped clients – botnet and malware operators.
Earlier, 30-year-old Pavel Stassi from Estonia and 33-year-old Alexander Skorodumov from Lithuania have already pleaded guilty. The hosting services they provided to criminals from 2009 to 2015 were in demand among the authors of malware targeting financial institutions in the United States. According to the authorities, their servers hosted malware such as Zeus, SpyEye, Citadel, and the Blackhole exploit kit. All of these malware were used against American companies, and the attacks resulted in millions of dollars in losses. As a result, the former admins received 24 months (Stassi) and 48 months (Skorodumov) in prison.
Stassi and Skorodumov reportedly helped their clients evade detection by monitoring sites used to block technical infrastructure and then moving tagged content to obstruct law enforcement.
Also, according to court documents, Skorodumov was one of the leading administrators of the hoster, setting up and managing domains, IP addresses, and providing customers with support and advice on how they can optimize their malware and botnets. Stassi was more of a marketing expert: he did advertisements and used stolen or fake information to register the hosting itself and the organization’s financial accounts.
The aforementioned founders of the company, Grichishkin and Skvortsov, are still awaiting sentencing. They face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
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