Estonians jailed for spreading malware

News by Danielle Correa

Three Estonians have been sentenced to a cumulative 11 years for cyber-crime activities that infected more than four million computers with malware in over 100 countries.

US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan sent down the criminals on Thursday in New York City. Timur Gerassimenko, 35, received a four-year sentence and was ordered to forfeit £1.6 million. Dmitiri Jegorov, 37, received a sentence of 44 months and must forfeit £643,818. Konstantin Poltev, 31, was sentenced to 40 months and ordered to forfeit £643,818. The trio was previously charged in a party of seven in 2011, composed of six Estonians and one Russian.

At least half a million of the infected computers were in the US, which included US government and NASA computers. The malware of the defendants secretly adjusted the settings on infected computers that allowed them to digitally hijack net searches and re-route computers to specific websites and ads. This earned £9 million in revenue for the criminals.

The malware prevented installation of anti-virus software and operating system updates on infected computers, so those computers and their users were exposed to more attacks by other viruses, causing more than £41,867 in damages in NASA's case.

The original indictment further declared that the group laundered the proceeds of the attack through numerous companies including Estonian corporation Rove Digital.

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