DOJ gives Russian national two-year sentence for work shielding Kelihos malware and other ransomware

The Department of Justice sentenced 41-year-old Oleg Koshkin to two years in prison for his work in helping to “conceal” the Kelihos malware and other ransomwares from antivirus software. He was facing up to 15 years in prison. 

According to the DOJ, Koshkin ran Crypt4U.com, Crypt4U.net, fud.bz and fud.re, websites that helped hackers evade “nearly every major provider of antivirus software.” The tools allegedly enabled malware like Kelihos and others to be undetectable.

Koshkin was arrested in California in September 2019 and transported to Connecticut for his trial before being convicted in June on one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse and one count of computer fraud and abuse. 

He was arrested in conjunction with Peter Levashov, the operator of the Kelihos botnet who lived in Estonia. Levashov was detained in Barcelona before being extradited to the US and pleading guilty to a federal charge. His sentencing is next year.

Acting US Attorney Leonard Boyle said Koshkin’s websites “provided a vital service to cyber criminals, allowing them to hide their malware from antivirus programs and use it to infect thousands of computers all over the world.” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. said he “provided a critical service used by cybercriminals

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