For writing antivirus programs, you can usually get a fairly decent pay, and in the worst cases, a list of upset users who think that the antivirus is running too slowly. However, a Latvian programmer got 14 years in prison.
As it was established during the investigation, in 2009-2016, Ruslan Bondars from Latvia first developed and later ran a service called Scan4you, in which users, as in the popular VirusTotal, could scan their individual files. At the peak of its development, the service had as many as 30 scanning engines, which was to guarantee an extremely cross-sectional analysis. A fee of $ 0.15 was charged for each scan, and in return no information obtained in the scanning process was sent to the common databases of the antivirus community.
And it was this trait that put a Latvian citizen in the crosshairs of the American justice system. Investigators came to the conclusion that Scan4you is used by criminals to improve their tools. Not only that, it is not only used in this way, but it was created to enable criminals to verify the detection of new tools used for attacks.
During the trial, it was proved, among others, that Scan4you’s activity was related to the activities of hackers who attacked the American Target network in 2013 and contributed to the development of the Citadel malware. According to investigators, both Bondars and his business partner, who had been convicted earlier, also had links with the Russian FSB.
Eventually Bondars heard allegations of violation of the Computer Fraud Act, telecommunications fraud and computer intrusion, with the intention of causing harm. In May he was found guilty and placed in custody pending the imposition of a sentence. He met this one last week. A federal court verdict in Alexandria, Virginia, will spend 14 years in prison in total in America.
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