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Ivan Maksakov from Balakov, Russia, got eight years in colony for developing and applying hostile software.
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Oct. 04, 2006
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Eight Years for Extorting Millions
The Balakov City Court, Saratov region, has sentenced to eight years in colony with a strict regime and 100,000-ruble penalty each of three hackers of Russia accused of extortion, causing material damage and establishing and applying hostile software. Investigating the case of Russian hackers that used to blackmail British companies lasted for a year. The lawyers of accused attributed unprecedented toughness of the verdict to the fact that the Russians are not protected by international laws in their own country.
According to investigators, in 2003, a student of Balakov Institute of Engineering, Technology and Management, Ivan Maksakov, 22, developed a few knowbots and set up a network of hackers. The bots initiated DoS-attacks on the web-sites of bookmakers, which were accepting stakes in the Internet.

The strategy was simple. A bookmaker that was accepting online stakes in time of some big sports competitions received an e-mail, notifying the site was under attack and urging to pay $40,000. The e-mail was followed by a trial attack and then by another e-mail demanding to transfer money via Western Union to accounts in Riga, Latvia.

The accused - Ivan Maksakov, Alexander Petrov and Denis Stepanov attacked nine British and Irish bookmakers and casinos from the fall of 2003 till the spring of 2004, casing direct damage of over £2 million. The amount reached £40 million once the costs incurred for buying protection equipment were taken into account.

Moreover, one of the victims, Canbet Sports Bookmakers UK Ltd, paid $40,000 to the hackers but it didnt end the attacks. Split into small installments, the money went to nine residents of Latvia to be forwarded to two Russians in Pyatigorsk via Webmoney and then via the affiliate of Sevkavinvestbank.

The knowbot was stationed in the server in Houston, the United States, which received the command to attack from Ivan Maksakovs IP-address in Balakov.

Having spotted the track of Russias hackers, the British intelligence addressed the RF Interior Ministry and Maksakov, Petrov and Stepanov were detained in a few months.

The defendants refused to admit guilt in the court yesterday, claiming they had got acquainted by accident and were in contact via ICQ and IRC. They acknowledged they had some hostile software at home, exchanging it with the mates out of idle curiosity and discussing the hacker findings. But the explanation obviously failed to persuade the court, which sentenced the hackers to eight years in a colony with rigid regime and imposed penalty of 100,000 rubles on each of them.


All the Article in Russian as of Oct. 04, 2006

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