Russian hacker extradited from Norway - CBS46 News

Russian hacker extradited from Norway

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Mark Vartanyan, also known as "Kolypto" was charged with one count of computer fraud following his extradition to the U.S. from Norway in December of 2016. 

Vartanyan is a Russian national who allegedly developed, improved, and maintained the pernicious "Citadel" malware toolkit. 

“This successful extradition is yet another example of how cooperation among international law enforcement partners can be used to disrupt and dismantle global cyber syndicates,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn. “This defendant’s alleged role in developing and improving “Citadel” for its use by cybercriminals caused a vast amount of financial harm to individuals and institutions around the world.  His appearance in federal court today shows that cybercriminals cannot hide in the shadows of the Internet.  We will identify them and bring them to justice wherever they operate.” 

"Citadel" is designed to infect computer systems and steal financial account credentials and personally identifiable information from victims. 

Attorney Horn says,“We must continue to impose real costs on criminals who believe they are protected by geographic boundaries and can prey on the American people and institutions with impunity.  Vartanyan's arrest removes a significant player who was engaged in the development, improvement, maintenance and distribution of malware from the resources available to the cyber criminal underground, thereby deteriorating the capabilities of cyber criminal groups.

Starting in 2011, "Citadel" was only sold on invite-only, Russian-language internet forums frequented by cybercriminals. 

These "Citadel" users have targeted the computer networks of major financial and government institutions including several in the United States.

Nearly 11 million computers have been affected worldwide and over $500 millions in losses. 

The case is still under investigation. 

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