U.S. Government seeks to keep alleged Russian hacker behind bars until trial
MOSCOW, February 5 (RAPSI) – U.S. authorities have asked a court in Connecticut to order detention of Peter Levashov, who is accused of cybercrimes and has recently been extradited to the United States from Spain, pending trial, the documents available to RAPSI read.
According to the motion, the Government believes that the case is eligible for pretrial detention because of a “serious risk” that Levashov may flee if released as there are “no conditions”, which could assure his appearance before the court, whereas the “safety of any other person and the community” may be endangered.
Otherwise, the motion states, the Russian national, who faces “serious computer, fraud, and identity theft charges,” may have direct or indirect access to computers and the Internet thus being able to conduct criminal activity.
In April, Levashov was arrested in Barcelona on request of the United States. According to the U.S. Ministry of Justice Levashov has administered Kelihos botnet since 2010. The malware was used to distribute hundreds of millions of spam-messages. The Ministry noted that Levashov was listed in Top Ten Worst Spammers list compilated by anti-spam group Spamhaus.
The U.S. authorities believe that Levashov used credentials of other users, obtained through infected computers, to spread spam. In addition, they allege that the botnet was used to install malware for theft of users’ banking data.
In 2007, Levashov faced charges in the state of Michigan and in 2009 in Federal District Court of Columbia.
In September, the U.S. authorities asked a court in Alaska to issue a ruling in a civil case against Levashov because he did not react to the lawsuit in time.
The alleged hacker was extradited from Spain to the USA on February 2.