Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Hacker Fined $6.9M by U.S. Court

A Russian hacker has been fined $6.9 million and sentenced to 37 months in prison for developing a virus that infected more than one million computers worldwide, the Bloomberg news agency reported Tuesday.

Nikita Kuzmin was arrested in 2010 and pleaded guilty to creating the Gozi virus together with two accomplices in 2011. The virus allowed Kuzmin to steal tens of millions of dollars, prosecutors told the New York Southern District Court.

According to prosecutor Nicole Friedlander, Kuzmin was motivated by greed and he spent stolen money on luxurious sport cars and "extravagant travel and entertainment in Europe and Russia."

An investigation revealed that the trio had the stolen data from 10,000 bank accounts on their servers. The details belonged to 5,200 people across Europe and the United States, including more than 160 NASA employees, Bloomberg reported.

The two other defendants in the case, Mihai Ionut Paunescu and Deniss Calovskis, were arrested in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Paunescu is currently awaiting for extradition to the U.S. from Romania, according to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Calovskis, who wrote a part of the virus's code, completed his 21-month sentence in U.S. custody, Bloomberg reported.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.