Prison for Russian Player in $100m Botnet Conspiracy

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A Russian cyber-criminal will spend the next eight years in an American prison for his role in a sophisticated multi-million-dollar Botnet conspiracy.

Skilled computer programmer Aleksandr Brovko admitted being involved in a scheme to steal sensitive personal and financial data and traffic it on the darknet that caused estimated losses of over $100m.

From 2007 through 2019, Brovko collaborated with other cyber-criminals to monetize huge quantities of data that had been stolen by networks of infected computers. Documents submitted to the court state that Brovko wrote software scripts to parse Botnet logs and performed extensive manual searches of the data to extract personally identifiable information and online banking credentials that could be exploited for financial gain.  

Other roles played by the 36-year-old included verifying the validity of stolen account credentials and assessing whether compromised financial accounts contained enough funds to make using them to conduct fraudulent transactions worthwhile. 

Court documents also pegged Brovko as an active member of multiple elite online forums in which Russian-speaking cyber-criminals gather to exchange criminal tools and services. During the course of the conspiracy, Brovko possessed and trafficked over 200,000 unauthorized access devices. 

In February 2020, Brovko pleaded guilty to committing bank and wire fraud. On October 30, he was sentenced to an 8-year period of incarceration by senior US district judge T.S. Ellis III.

"For over a decade, Brovko participated in a scheme to gain access to Americans’ personal and financial information, causing more than $100 million in intended loss,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.  

“This prosecution and the sentence imposed show the department’s commitment to work with our international and state counterparts to bring cybercriminals to justice no matter where they are located.”

News of Brovko's sentencing was announced today by Rabbitt, US Attorney General Zachary Terwilliger for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Special Agent in Charge Matthew Miller of the US Secret Service’s Washington Field Office.

Miller said: "This investigation is a prime example of the Secret Service’s investigative mission; to protect the U.S. financial infrastructure by pursuing counterfeit and financial crimes investigations."

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