The Department of Justice (DoJ) announced that a Russian cybercriminal, charged with providing hosting services for fellow cybercriminals, will serve 60 months in prison for services he provided for malware distribution and attacks on American financial institutions between 2009 and 2015.

Russian-native Aleksandr Grichishkin, 34, founded and was the day-to-day leader of an organization that provided cybercriminals with “bulletproof hosting” and hosted malware, including Zeus, SpyEye, Citadel, and the Blackhole Exploit Kit, which DoJ said targeted financial institutions and American companies.

“Grichishkin was a founder and leader of a bulletproof hosting organization that rented internet protocol (IP) addresses, servers, and domains to cybercriminal clients who employed this technical infrastructure to disseminate malware that allowed them to gain access to victims’ computers, form botnets, and steal banking credentials for use in frauds,” the release says.

“Grichishkin also helped clients evade detection by law enforcement and continue their crimes uninterrupted by monitoring sites used to blocklist technical infrastructure used for crime, moving ‘flagged’ content to new infrastructure, and registering all such infrastructure under false or stolen identities,” the release says.

Court documents charge Grichishkin with overseeing the advertisement of the organization’s hosting services, setting prices, negotiating services with clients, and more, according to the release. DoJ also said Grichishkin oversaw the hiring and firing of employees and supervised the work of system administrators.

Two of Grichishkin’s co-conspirators have already been sentenced. Chief Judge Denise Page Hood, who oversaw Grichishkin’s sentencing, has already sentenced Estonian Pavel Stassi, 30, to 24 months in prison and Lithuanian Aleksandr Skorodumov, 33, to 48 months. A fourth and final co-conspirator is still awaiting sentencing. All four pled guilty to conspiracy to engage in a racketeer-influenced corrupt organization.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.