Notorious Russian cybercriminal pleads guilty to US charges

September 12, 2018 - 4:35 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Russian man considered to be one of the world's most notorious hackers has pleaded guilty to U.S. charges alleging he operated a network of devices used to steal computer credentials, distribute spam emails and install malicious software.

The Justice Department says Peter Levashov pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Hartford, Connecticut.

Levashov was arrested in April 2017 while vacationing in Spain. His arrest was one of a series in the last few years targeting Russian cybercriminals outside their homeland, which has no extradition agreement with the United States.

Federal officials have said Levashov was linked to a series of powerful botnets — networks of hijacked computers — to harvest email addresses, usernames and passwords.

Prosecutors say he also distributed bulk spam emails, malware and other malicious software.

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