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Russian man who created SpyEye pleads guilty

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Posted January 29, 2014
A US Department of Justice seal on December 11, 2012
A US Department of Justice seal on December 11, 2012
A Russian man pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge Tuesday after federal authorities say he created a computer program that has been used to drain bank accounts.

Aleksandr Andreevich Panin, who’s also known as “Gribodemon” and “Harderman,” pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. He appeared in federal court wearing an orange jail uniform with his legs chained together as he entered a guilty plea after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Another man, Hamza Bendelladj, was also indicted in the case and pleaded not guilty in May after being extradited from Thailand, where he was arrested a year ago. The case against him is still pending.

Authorities say the 24-year-old Panin is the main author of SpyEye. The program is a type known as a banking Trojan, which was implanted onto computers to harvest financial information so its users could drain bank accounts. Authorities said the malware has infected more than 1.4 million computers in the United States and abroad and is responsible for untold amounts of financial theft.

Read more at: Phys.org

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