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Russian Hacker Charged in 'Citadel' Malware Attacks

US Department of Justice said Mark Vartanyan is accused of computer fraud involving Citadel malware responsible for $500 million in losses.

A Russian hacker, Mark Vartanyan aka "Kolypto," has been charged in a US court for computer fraud involving Citadel malware toolkit which he allegedly developed and deployed to steal financial details of his victims. According to the US Department of Justice (DoJ), Vartanyan was extradited from Norway in December.

Vartanyan is the second to be charged in a case linked to Citadel malware, the first being fellow Russian Dimitry Belorossov, who was jailed in 2015 for 54 months for using Citadel to attack computers through a botnet which he controlled from Russia. This malware, say authorities, was been responsible for infecting around 11 million computers, leading to over $500 million in losses.

According to the DoJ, Citadel is used by cybercriminals to target major financial and government organizations globally. Vartanyan, operating between August 2012 and January 2013 from Ukraine and then between April and June 2014 from Norway, allegedly infected computers with Citadel and stole financial account credentials of victims.

 Read DoJ release here.

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