Russian sentenced to 46 months for running email spam ring

Aug. 4 (UPI) — A Russian man was sentenced Thursday to 46 months in U.S. prison after pleading guilty to running a massive click fraud and email spam ring.

Maxim Senakh 41, of Veliky Novgorod, Russia, was charged with infecting tens of thousands of computers with malware that caused them to generate millions of spam messages and direct Internet traffic to specific sites, generating web traffic that made advertising more valuable. Prosecutors said the operation, known as the Ebury botnet, generated millions in revenue.

The malware targeted computers running the Linux operating system.

Senakh was indicted by federal prosecutors in Minnesota in 2015 and subsequently arrested by Finnish authorities and extradited to the United States in 2016. He will be deported back to Russia when his prison term is complete, prosecutors said.

“The defendant and his co-conspirators sought to turn a network of thousands of infected computers in the United States and around the world into their personal cash machines,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco.  “But cybercriminals like Mr. Senakh should take heed: they are not immune from U.S. prosecution just because they operate from afar or behind a veil of technology.  We have the ability and the determination to identify them, find them, and bring them to justice.”

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