Citadel malware co-developer gets 5 years in prison.
Citadel malware co-developer gets 5 years in prison.

The Russian hacker who pleaded guilty for his role in co-developing the Citadel malware was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison.

In March, Mark Vartanyan, also known as Kolypto, admitted to his role in developing, improving, and maintaining the malware toolkit which targeted financial institutions and individuals around the world between 2012 and 2014, according to a Department of Justice press release.

“Mark Vartanyan utilized his technical expertise to enable Citadel into becoming one of the most pernicious malware toolkits of its time, and for that, he will serve significant time in federal prison,” U.S. Attorney John Horn said in the release.

The malware was designed to steal financial account credentials and personally identifiable information from victim computer networks and affected nearly 11 million computers world wide causing more than $500 million in loses.

The malware was initially only available for sale on an invitation basis on Russian language internet forums frequented by cybercriminals.