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Sentencing for Three People Involved in $100 Million Malware Crime Network

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GozNym: In a collaborative sentencing effort, the US and the country of Georgia indicted three men responsible for using the GozNym malware to steal $100 million dollars. The three men, Krasimir Nikolov, Alexander Konolov, and Marat Kazandjian all received separate sentences that coincided with their roles within the network. Nikolov was the only one extradited to the US after being arrested in Bulgaria. While Georgian law prevented the other two men from being extradited to the US, Georgia did agree to prosecute the men in Georgia. After being found guilty by the court in Georgia, Konolov and Kazandjian were sentenced to prison. Operations by this group spanned several years, compromising more than 41,000 computers and draining many bank accounts. It all came crashing down in 2016 when Nikolov was arrested; he did not plead guilty until 2019.

ANALYST NOTES

While the cooperation of Georgia was very helpful, it is still difficult to prosecute cybercriminals who operate out of other countries that do not have extradition treaties. More international cooperation such as this is necessary to hold cybercriminals accountable for their crimes committed outside of the countries where they reside. Sentencing these men was an important step toward better international cooperation and may signal to threat actors living in some former Soviet Bloc countries that they are not immune to prosecution even in their home country. Until more countries work together to prosecute cyber-crimes, this will not likely change the threat landscape very much. More information can be found here: https://www.engadget.com/2019/12/22/three-sentenced-over-goznym-malware-crime-network/

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