SpyEye malware co-creator Hamza Bendelladj has been extradited from Thailand to the US to face cyber crime charges.
Bendelladj, 24, is accused of using the SpyEye malware to gain access to victims' financial and personal information. He is the latest to be brought to charges stemming from the use of the SpyEye virus.
Acting assistant attorney general Mythili Raman said: "The indictment charges Bendelladj and his co-conspirators with operating servers designed to control the personal computers of unsuspecting individuals and aggressively marketing their virus to other international cyber criminals intent on stealing sensitive information.
"The extradition of Bendelladj to face charges in the United States demonstrates our steadfast determination to bring cyber criminals to justice, no matter where they operate."
Bendelladj was caught at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, last January. Following a five-month stay in Thailand, Bendelladj was officially extradited to the US earlier this month.
According to a statement from the US Justice Department, Bendelladj has been charged with 23 different crimes. Charges include 10 counts of wire fraud and 11 counts of computer fraud.
"No violence or coercion was used to accomplish this scheme, just a computer and an internet connection. Bendelladj's alleged criminal reach extended across international borders, directly into victims' homes," said US attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
"In a cyber netherworld, he allegedly commercialised the wholesale theft of financial and personal information through this virus, which he sold to other cyber criminals. Cyber criminals take note; we will find you. This arrest and extradition demonstrates our determination to bring you to justice."
Bendelladj and his co-conspirators reportedly used the SpyEye virus to automate the theft of online banking credentials, credit card information, usernames, passwords, and PINs. Court documents show that the virus works by secretly collecting victim information through SQL injections.
SpyEye malware was sold to other hackers on the web by Bendelladj and his co-hackers. The group advertised the virus through various web forums. Bendelladj also stands accused of operating servers in the country of Georgia, which controlled infected victims' PCs.
Bendelladj stands to be issued up to 30 years in prison and over $14m in fines if convicted. Two of his co-conspirators are already serving nine years in a European prison.
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