Author of the Gozi Banking Trojan ordered to pay $7 Million

Pierluigi Paganini May 04, 2016

The author of the Gozi Banking Trojan who spent about 3 years in jail has been ordered to pay $7 Million to cover damages he caused to banks.

Nikita Kuzmin, a 28-year-old Russian national who created the notorious Gozi banking Trojan, has been sentenced to time served and ordered to pay nearly $7 million.

Recently the Gozi banking Trojan appeared once again in the wild, the cybercriminals behind the GozNym Trojan have started targeting users in European countries with a new singular redirection mechanism.

The Gozi banking Trojan is not a new threat, it was first spotted by security researchers in 2007. According to the experts, the Gozi Banking Malware infected more than 1 million computers worldwide, causing tens of millions of dollars in losses.

Its author Nikita Vladimirovich Kuzmin  was arrested by Us law enforcement in November 2010 and pleaded guilty to various computer crimes. Kuzmin man faced up to 95 years in prison, but only this week a sentence was made public. The court sentenced the men to the 3 years he had already spent in the Federal Jail and ordered the payment of $7 Million to compensate damages he caused to the financial organizations infected by his malware.

“Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that NIKITA KUZMIN, the creator of “Gozi” malware, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to time served (37 months).”states a press release issued by the Department of Justice.

” In addition to the sentence, KUZMIN, 28, a citizen of Russia, was ordered to pay forfeiture and restitution in the amount of $6,934,979.” 

Gozi Banking Trojan sentence


According to prosecutors, Kuzmin made at least US $250,000 by offering for sale and rent the threat Gozi.

Nikita Kuzmin isn’t the unique hacker behind the popular threat, the US authorities also charged the Latvian national Deniss Calovskis and the Romanian national Mihai Ionut Paunescu.

Calovskis is the expert that has written the web injection components for the Gozi banking trojan, meanwhile Paunescu maintained the hosting for the botnet. Both criminals were arrested by the law enforcement.

According to the prosecutors, Kuzmin cooperated with authorities and for this reason, he obtained a substantial reduction of sentence.

It is a bad time for crooks, a few weeks ago a Russian court sentenced Dmitry Fedotov, aka “Paunch,” seven years in prison. Paunch is the dreaded author of one of the most prolific crimeware kits, the Blackhole exploit kit. In the same period, the creators of the SpyEye Trojan were sentenced to more than nine years in prison.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Gozi Banking Trojan, malware)

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