The man who elaborated and then spread the Bredolab virus, which infected roughly 30 million computers worldwide, was sentenced to four years in prison by an Armenian district court yesterday, according to Wired.
Georgy Avanesov, a 27-year-old Russian citizen of Armenian descent, wasafter 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.
Over the course of its existence, the Bredolab botnet was reportedly used by cybercriminals to steal bank account passwords and other private information. It also sent out spam. At one point, a Bredolab variant sending out fake "Facebook Password Reset Confirmation" e-mails, which were accompanied by a file that when downloaded by an unsuspecting user could wreak havoc on their computer.
This is the first punishment for cybercrime given by an Armenian court.