Friday, 1 June 2012

In post-Soviet Armenia, crime pays for you

Remember kids, hack is whack. But apparently not that whack in Armenia where the creator of the notorious Bredolab virus was just sentenced to a measly four years in prison by Armenian courts.

Georgy Avanesov, a 27-year-old Russian citizen of Armenian descent, was first nabbed in 2010 after Dutch authorities took down a large Bredolab network made up of about 140 different infected computer servers. Shortly after this seizure, global spam levels fell by 12 percent. 
Avanesov confessed that he developed the Bredolab malware in 2009 and made it available to others via computer servers in Holland and France, according to Wired. But he also said that he was unaware others planned to use it criminally. 
Wired reports that prosecutors allege Avanesov earned $125,000 a month renting out infected computers to cybercriminals to spread their own viruses. [CNET]
Based on the scale and scope of Avanesov’s crimes, are we the only ones who think this sentence seems a bit light?  I mean, if, as an international community, we want to discourage hacking (and $125,000 a month is quite a temptation) shouldn’t we punish one of the most egregious offenders of all time a little more severely? I mean, hell, if the prosecution's numbers are accurate, this guy was pulling in $1.5 million per year. He might spend the next few years in the big house, but he’ll spend the next several decades in an even bigger mansion.

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