Russian Hacker; Peter Yuryevich Levashov, of St. Petersburg, Russia, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in U.S. federal court in Connecticut to computer crime, wire fraud, conspiracy and identity theft charges.
Levashov, a Russian hacker also known by many online aliases including Peter Severa, Peter Levashov, Petr Severa and Sergey Astakhov, has admitted of operating several botnets, including the Storm, Waledac and Kelihos botnets, since the late 1990s until he was arrested in April 2017.
Kelihos botnet, dated back to 2010, was a global network of tens of thousands of infected computers that were used to steal login credentials, send bulk spam emails, and infect computers with ransomware and other malware.
Russian Hacker Infects 50,000 Computers With Kelihos Botnet
Storm and Waledac botnets also shared Kelihos code, but kelihos was the most notorious botnet of all that alone infected more than 50,000 computers worldwide.
All the three botnets reportedly generated hundreds of millions of dollars for cybercriminals.
As The Hacker News has previously reported, Levashov has also been listed in the World’s Top 10 Worst Spammers maintained by anti-spam group Spamhaus, which gave him the 7th position in the list, at that time.
While initially it was speculated that Levashov was involved in 2016 U.S. election hacking, the DoJ indictment unsealed last year after his arrest in Spain made it clear that the suspect was arrested due to his involvement in the Kelihos botnet and spamming targets for trying and forcing them to buy worthless stock.