By Marcos Colón
March 15, 2017
A Russian national that is allegedly behind the development of the infamous Citadel malware that wreaked financial havoc on its victims, has been extradited from Norway.
Mark Vartanyan, also known by his online alias “Kolypto,” was charged with one count of computer fraud for allegedly developing, improving and maintaining the malware that is responsible for infecting 11 million computers worldwide, accounting for more than $500 million in losses, according to a Department of Justice release.
Since 2011, the Citadel virus was designed to compromise computer systems with the end goal of siphoning financial account credentials and personal information. The malware toolkit was available for sale on invite-only, Russian-language internet forums, which led to the spread of infections.
Vartanyan is the second defendant charged with ties to the Citadel malware. In September 2015, Dimitry Belorossov was sentenced to more than four years in prison for conspiring to commit computer fraud by distributing and installing the Citadel malware.