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Russian Creator Of 'Gozi' Virus Ordered To Pay $6.9 MIllion Restitution

A Russian man who spent three years in jail in the United States for creating a vicious computer virus was spared further prison time but ordered to pay $6.9 million to cover losses to bank customers.

A Manhattan federal court sentenced Nikita Kuzmin, 28, for creating the so-called "Gozi" malware that infected millions of computers and stole bank-account information, causing tens of millions of dollars in losses to customers of leading global banks.

Prosecutors described Kuzmin as an innovator in online crime, saying he not only created the virus but rented it out for $500 a week to criminals who used it to steal money from bank accounts.

The malware was disguised as a .pdf file, and was identified in 2007. Kuzmin was arrested in 2010 after he traveled to a conference in the United States. He pleaded guilty in May 2011 in a cooperation agreement with U.S. prosecutors.

In January, a Latvian man who admitted to having written some of the virus's computer code also was sentenced to time served. He had spent 21 months in prison.

Based on reporting by Reuters