Russian Hacker Pleaded Not Guilty, Faced Charges in Georgia Courthouse

Few days ago, the United States served warrant of arrests to at least for individuals from Russia who allegedly had involvements to hacking millions of Yahoo account users. The involved Russians include two employees of the Federal Security Service (FSB) who hired expert hackers to do the hacking job for them.

On Monday, another Russian hacker pleaded not guilty at a federal court in Atlanta, Georgia. This time, the accusation is about the malware toolkit known as “Citadel” wherein the alleged suspect created, maintained and developed it for unlawful activities, as stated by the authorities.

They recognized him as Mark Vartanyan and pleaded for computer fraud as not guilty.

According from the information shared through, Norway extradited Vartanyan back in December last year and John Horn stated that the court charge him due to computer scam. They also call the hacking suspect as “Kolypto” and will need to face the lawsuit in Atlanta.

John Horn is the U.S. District Attorney who attended the scheduled news conference.

Based on the investigation of the in-charge authorities, the intention of the Citadel is to infect the systems of different computers to steal money and personal data from various computer networks, which they target as the main victims, Horn explain in his statement.

The Russian hacker had been part of developing as well as improving the malware toolkit since 2011, which they introduced online as a Russian-language only toolkit. It has the capacity to steal personal data, accounts and passwords from the computers of the victims. Vartanyan is also part of creating the “botnets” that infect computers as software while in Norway back in 2012 as well as 2014, wherein they arrested the Russian-national back then.

They even sell the kit through online forums wherein cyber criminals are involved.

The reported information through revealed that they were able to hack almost $500 million and infected about 11 million computer systems by just using the Citadel.

From the explanation of attorney John Horn, Vartanyan’s involvement seriously affected many people due to the money they stole from them and the damage they caused the Internet worldwide. With his arrest, it proved that regardless of what country a cyber-criminal lives, the authorities will find and capture them.

The arraignment is set on Tuesday and US Magistrate Judge Russell G. Vineyard will handle the case and the arrested Russian hacker needs to attend the court hearing.

The reports online likewise revealed that aside from “Kalypto,” another Russian hacker got sentenced in September of 2015 due to computer scam. He is the 22-year-old Dimitry “Rainerfox” Belorossov from St. Petersburg in Russia. This young fellow distributed and installed the Citadel to the computers of his victims, although he pleaded guilty that time unlike Vartanyan.

According to the records of the authorities, Belorossov was able to infect over 7,000 computer systems, stole credit card information from various owners, bank records and personal identifications, which include some victims in Atlanta, Georgia.

This just proved that these types of hackers are expert in this field and the authorities ought to be more cautious and prepared.











Dean’s Lister Arrested In Isabela In Suspected Credit Card Scam

A student, who happens to be a Dean’s Lister, was arrested in Isabela for being involved in a suspected credit card scam.

According to a report, the suspect was identified as Christian Salvador. Salvador, 23, is currently taking Computer Science. He was alleged to have established a fake bank website. Through this fake site, unsuspecting bank clients had their bank information stolen.

Salvador was apprehended in an apartment unit in Isabela by the authority of the Cybercrime Division of DOJ (Department of Justice) and NBI (National Bureau of Investigation). The arrest has been made based on the warrant issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court.

The report further stated that the arrest took place after the NBI obtained a complaint from one major banking company. The banking institution receives numerous complaints from clients and credit card holders whose account information was stolen from the fake bank website. The clients were being charged for a significant amount of money even though they have no idea that their credit cards were being used by the hackers.

Salvador confessed his involvement in the scam. He said allegations about him regarding the bank phishing page are all true, as well as stealing the personal information of the bank clients. Basically, the bank scam takes place after the suspect sells account information of the owners for P5,000. Moreover, there are cases where he takes advantage of the account information and buy items for his personal use.

The report confirmed that Salvador performs phishing and website penetration. Phishing is an illegal practice of sending emails claiming to be from legitimate companies to persuade  unsuspecting people to share their personal information like passwords and credit card numbers.

The authority has searched the suspect’s house and found a recently-purchased car. Salvador’s father works as a baker, while his mother is an OFW working in Lebanon as a domestic helper. The father was dismayed about his son’s “actions”. The suspect was then brought to Manila’s NBI office.

Salvador may be charged  for violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 or the Access Device Regulation Act of 1988. His laptop and PC were also seized to be subjected for further investigation.