Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russian Hacker Sentenced to 46 Months In U.S. Prison

WASHINGTON -- A Russian man extradited from Finland two years ago on computer-fraud charges has been sentenced to 46 months in a U.S. prison for spreading malicious software and netting millions of dollars for himself.

The U.S. Justice Department on August 3 said Maksim Senakh and co-conspirators attempted to turn a network of thousands of infected computers “into their personal cash machines.”

It said Senakh, 41, of the western Russian city of Veliky Novgorod, will be deported after serving his 46-month sentence.

“Cybercriminals like Mr. Senakh should take heed: They are not immune from U.S. prosecution just because they operate from afar or behind a veil of technology,” it said.

“We have the ability and the determination to identify them, find them, and bring them to justice,” the Justice Department added.

Senakh was arrested in Finland in 2015 at U.S. authorities’ request and extradited to face U.S charges.

His arrest prompted protests by Russia’s Foreign Ministry, which called the move illegal.

Senakh pleaded guilty on March 28 in a U.S. federal court to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

According to court records, malware, known as Ebury, harvested log-on credentials from infected computer servers, allowing Senakh and his co-conspirators to create and operate a “botnet” of tens of thousands of infected servers throughout the United States and the world.

The Justice Department did not identify alleged conspirators or disclose where they might be located.

  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.