Ruslan Bondars and Jurijs Martisevs were identified as the main culprits behind a crime in which they were selling malware over the dark web. The malware sold was meant to disrupt many U.S businesses.
According to an indictment released by the Federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, the two men were selling malicious software that included hacking tools to exploit vulnerabilities by creating files with malware, Remote Access Trojans to hijack a victim’s computer, malware that could bypass detection from antivirus software and keyloggers which would monitor every keystroke made by a victim.
There is also an accomplice who lives in Virginia but has not yet been identified. The tools were being sold using Tor so as to avoid detection and were being sold in bulk.
Present since 2006
What is surprising is that Bondars and Martiseves have been doing this since 2006. This implies that it is well after a decade that they have been caught.
Furthermore, the FBI says that it is the first time it has come across malware which is so wide-spread and high in volume. In fact, the user base of the malware is reported to be 30,000.
List of victims
Although the malware was meant to intrude the systems of the major American corporations, the specific names of the victims, however, have not been revealed.
The accomplice who has not yet been found has been described as Z.S. and is alleged to be based in the Great Falls, Virginia.
The accused is charged for having created the keylogger malware which has reportedly been sold to 3,000 customers to date. Also, around 16,000 systems have been infected with this keylogger in 2012 alone.
The Defense Attorney
The Washington Post reports that Defense Attorney Joshua Jacob Horowitz failed to make a case in order to release Bondars. He stated that Bondars came to the hearing on Wednesday by his own will and should, therefore, be released.
However, the U.S Magistrate Judge Ivan Davis said he cannot release a defendant who is already homeless and who will be taken into the custody of the immigration authorities in case he is put out of jail.
On the other hand, Martisevs’ attorney did not comment during the trial. Rather, Martisevs revealed that he not only sold the malware but also offered customer support to his clients.
Charged with conspiracy
The duo is charged with conspiracy and for committing wire fraud.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen Dwyer, Bondars had $30,000 in cash when he was arrested. Bondars admitted to having multiple accounts in different countries.