Operator of Scan4You Malware-Scanning sentenced to 14 Years in prison

The Latvian expert Ruslans Bondars (37), who developed and run the counter antivirus service Scan4You has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Bondars was convicted of conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and computer intrusion with intent to cause damage.

“A Latvian “non-citizen,” meaning a citizen of the former USSR who resided in Riga, Latvia, was sentenced to 168 months in prison today for offenses related to his operation of “Scan4you,” an online counter antivirus service that helped computer hackers determine whether the computer viruses and other malicious software they created would be detected by antivirus software, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. ” reads the press release published by DoJ.

Scan4you is a VirusTotal like online multi-engine antivirus scanning service that could be used by vxers to test evasion abilities of their malware against the major antiviruses.

Unlike VirusTotal, Scan4you offered a totally anonymous service to its users, this means that data related to the scans of uploaded files were not shared with the antivirus firms.

Bondars is one of the two hackers found to have been running Scan4you from 2009 to 2016, its service was very popular in the cybercrime community and was used by malware developers to test their malicious codes.

Ruslans Bondars pleaded guilty on May 16 in federal court in Alexandria, according to a co-conspirator the man had helped Russian law enforcement.

The other hacker who operated the Scan4you service, Jurijs Martisevs, was arrested while on a trip to Latvia and extradited to the United States. The man pleaded guilty to the same Bondars’s charges in March 2018.

Scan4you service allows its customers to develop malicious codes that were used to steal millions of payment cards from retail stores across the world, it has been estimated that overall losses account for $20.5 billion.

“In issuing the sentence, the court found a loss amount of $20.5 billion.  In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady ordered Bondars to serve three years of supervised release.  A decision regarding forfeiture and payment of restitution to victims of the offenses is forthcoming.” continues the press release.

“A Scan4you customer, for example, used the service to test malware that was subsequently used to steal approximately 40 million credit and debit card numbers, as well as approximately 70 million addresses, phone numbers and other pieces of personal identifying information, from retail store locations throughout the United States, causing one retailer approximately $292 million in expenses resulting from the intrusion.”

The DoJ cited the case of Scan4you customer that used the service to test malware that was used to steal approximately 40 million credit and debit card numbers, and other personal information from a US retail store, causing $292 million in losses.

A second customer used Scan4you to contribute to the development of infamous Citadel malware that caused over $500 million in fraud-related losses.

“Ruslans Bondars helped malware developers attack American businesses,” explained Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski.

“The Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners make no distinction between service providers like Scan4You and the hackers they assist: we will hold them accountable for all of the significant harm they cause and work tirelessly to bring them to justice, wherever they may be located.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Scan4You, malware)

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Pierluigi Paganini: Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer. Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US. Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines. Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.

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