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Russian hacker arrested in Spain for bot-herding not election-fiddling

Peter Levashov indicted over Kelihos as Russian carder Roman Seleznev cops 27 years

By Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2017

Last week ended badly for Russian hackers.

The United States Department of Justice revealed that Peter Yuryevich Levashov was picked up in Barcelona a couple of weeks back for his association with the Kelihos botnet. Levashov said he'd been told the arrest was due to his creation of a virus in some way linked to the Russia's suspected interference in the recent US presidential election. We pooh-poohed that theory at the time and now so has the DoJ which in a statement says Levashov will be charged with “harvesting login credentials, distributing bulk spam e-mails, and installing ransomware and other malicious software.”

The DoJ says Levashov sent spam urging recipients to buy shares as part of a “pump and dump” scam, among other naughtiness.

If the USA can extradite Levashov, he'll have a decent idea of what awaits him because the DoJ has also proudly proclaimed that carder Roman Valeryevich Seleznev, aka “Track2”, has been handed 27 years inside for stealing 2.9 million credit cards he mostly prised from point-of-sale systems. Seleznev, the son of a Russian member of parliament, was found guilty in August 2016 and sentenced last week. His trials aren't over: he faces new charges of racketeering, bank fraud and wire fraud. ®

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