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Algerian hacker sentenced to 15 years in US

April 26, 2016 at 10:07 am

An Algerian man has been sentenced to 15 years in jail in America after he was found guilty of using a computer virus to steal funds from more than 200 US banks and financial institutions.

Hamza Bendelladj, 27, who is the alleged co-creator of a banking trojan horse called SpyEye, was indicted in absentia by US authorities in 2011 before being arrested in Thailand in 2013 following a three year man-hunt.

The spyware is believed to have infected more than 1.4 million computers in the US and abroad enabling its users to steal login information for online financial accounts.

His Russian co-defendant, Aleksandr Andreevich Panin, was sentenced to nine years and six months in prison.

The money procured by Bendelladj and Panin was allegedly transferred to Palestinian charities from individual and company bank accounts “causing close to $1 billion in financial harm to individuals and financial institutions around the globe” according to a statement issued by the Justice Department.

John Horn, US attorney for the northern district of Georgia, said in a press statement: “It is difficult to overstate the significance of this case, not only in terms of bringing two prolific computer hackers to justice, but also in disrupting and preventing immeasurable financial losses to individuals and the financial industry around the world.”