Russian Malware Developer Arrested And Extradited To The United States

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February 24, 2023

“United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced on Wednesday February 23 the arrest and extradition of Dariy Pankov a/k/a “dpxaker.” Pankov is charged with conspiracy, access device fraud, and computer fraud. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum penalty of 47 years in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Pankov that the United States intends to forfeit $358,437, which is alleged to be traceable to proceeds of the offenses.”

“Pankov, a citizen and resident of Russia, was taken into custody by Georgian authorities in the Republic of Georgia, on October 4, 2022, and extradited to the United States pursuant to a request from the United States. Pankov appeared before United States Magistrate Christopher P. Tuite on February 21, 2023, in Tampa, Florida and was ordered detained pending trial.”

“According to the indictment, Pankov developed a malicious software program named “NLBrute.” The powerful malware was capable of compromising protected computers by decrypting login credentials, such as passwords. Pankov used NLBrute to obtain the login credentials of tens of thousands of computers located all over the world. He marketed, sold, and had others sell on his behalf, NLBrute to other cybercriminals for a fee. Pankov sold the stolen login credentials on a dark web website that specialized in the purchase and sale of access to compromised computers. Once sold, those credentials were used to facilitate a wide range of illegal activity, including ransomware attacks and tax fraud. Pankov listed the credentials of more than 35,000 compromised computers for sale on the website, and obtained more than $350,000 in illicit proceeds.”

(Source: U.S. Department of Justice)

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