Extradited Ukrainian hacker pleads guilty in U.S. court to ID theft, conspiracy

Sergey Vovnenko pleaded guilty to ID theft and conspiracy charges in a 2012 international plot.
Sergey Vovnenko pleaded guilty to ID theft and conspiracy charges in a 2012 international plot.

Ukranian hacker Sergey Vovnenko pleaded guilty in a U.S. district court in New Jersey to aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Vovnenko, who goes by a number of aliases, including Darklife, Firecracker and Centurion, had battled extradition from Italy to the U.S. to face the charges, which stem from an international scheme to steal credit card data and log-in credentials.

The 29-year-old hacker marshaled 13,000 malware-infected computers to build a botnet used to steal banking information and capture victims' keystrokes between September 2010 and August 2012, according to a report by Reuters.

Vovnenko has also been accused of trying to frame security pro Brian Krebs in 2013 by sending heroin to Krebs's home. The hacker is due back in court May 2 for sentencing, where he faces a minimum two-year stint in prison plus fines.

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