Cybercriminal gets prison sentence over data theft and attempt to send heroin to Brian Krebs

A Ukrainian malware operator has recently been sentenced to 41 months in prison for distribution of the Zeus malware, and selling stolen personal data online.

The cybercriminal, Sergey Vovnenko, was given his fate last Thursday in a federal court in New Jersey. Formerly from Russia, he became a citizen of Ukraine, and then moved to Italy where he was arrested in June 2014.

According to court documents, Vovnenko used many aliases online, like "Tomas Rimkis," "Flycracker," "Flyck," and "Centurion," among others. Apparently, "Fly," was also one of his pseudonyms, which Vovnenko used when he attempted to frame cybersecurity researcher Brian Krebs by sending a pack of heroin to his house. Luckily enough, someone tipped Krebs regarding the crook's plan, and he informed respective authorities before the malware operator's plan took place.

The documents further reveal that Vovnenko, together with a few others managed a Zeus malware botnet, which was responsible for infecting 13,000 computers. The malware made it possible for the team to procure financial information such as credit card details and other sensitive credentials. The acquired data was then put on sale on underground forums ran by Vovnenko himself.

Aside from the 41-month sentence, Vovnenko also received three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $83,368 in restitution charges.

Meanwhile, a 19-year-old American man named Eric Taylor who admitted to being part of a hacker group that sent a heavily-armed police force to Krebs' home in 2013 was sentenced to three years probation.

Taylor, who was more commonly known as "CosmoTtheGod," was among several men involved in making a false report to the local police department about an alleged hostage situation at Krebs' home in Virginia. Krebs was later cuffed, but the police force later realized it was all a part of a dangerous scam called "swatting."

Taylor also rose to infamy after leaking personal information of dozens of public officials and celebrities online, which included Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears, former First Lady Michelle Obama, and even President Donald Trump.

Source: BBC, KrebsOnSecurity via Bleeping Computer | Hacker image via Shutterstock

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