Mitigation of sentence for alleged hacker Senakh is “unwarranted” - U.S. prosecutors
MOSCOW, July 31 (RAPSI) – Prosecutors in the cyber fraud case against Russian citizen Maxim Senakh have reiterated their position seeking 4.5 years in prison for the defendant dismissing his arguments for mitigated sentence, court documents available to RAPSI read on Monday.
On March 29, Senakh, alleged creator of the malware, known as Ebury, pleaded guilty to infecting computer servers around the globe. The defendant confessed that he was creating accounts with domain registrars for developing the Ebury botnet infrastructure.
The defendant, however argued that the United States District Court District of Minnesota should acknowledge the time he served in Finland and note that he has no funds to pay the fine. Altogether, the defense believes that considering all the circumstances of the case, repentance of the defendant, his inability to stay in foreign prison and lack of previous conviction, the term of imprisonment should not exceed 36 months.
Prosecutors argued that Senakh’s time served in Finnish custody should not be taken into account because decision on this matter is made by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), not a court. They also insist that Senakh must pay a “significant fine” in a way that “punishment … should not permit him to retain his ill-gotten gains, at least as much as is possible under the law.” Finally, prosecutors don’t agree to reducing of prison sentence from 54 to 36 months because of “scope and impact of the Ebury botnet, the level of Senakh’s involvement in supporting and exploiting the botnet.”
The alleged criminal was arrested in Finland in August 2015 and later extradited to the United States. Russia condemned actions of the two countries and called Senakh's arrest "another demonstration of the illegal practice of arrest of Russian citizens abroad launched by U.S. authorities.”
According to the U.S. authorities, the malware “harvested log-on credentials from infected computer servers”, allowing the defendant and his accomplices “to create and operate a botnet comprising tens of thousands of infected servers throughout the world, including thousands in the United States.” The criminal group members used the botnet “to generate and redirect internet traffic in furtherance of various click-fraud and spam e-mail schemes,” the statement of the U.S. Department of Justice reads.