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CyberKingpin Goes Down

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He infected over 4 million computers in more than 100 countries. Now he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Vladimir Tsastsin, a 35-year-old man from Estonia, ran a hacker ring that infected computers with DNSChanger, a malware that replaced legitimate ads with ones that netted him and his six accomplices, who were also arrested, $14 million in referral commissions.  On top of that, DNSChanger prevented the host computers from accessing software updates and visiting security websites, which might then help the users detect the malware.

After taking down the ring, the US used their servers to clean up infected computers.

The gang was originally arrested in Estonia in 2011, but they were acquitted.  The Estonian Supreme Court revoked that decision in 2014 and found them guilty of money laundering.  The men, excepting one of them, were later extradited to the United States where they have all pleaded guilty to charges including wire fraud and computer intrusion.