U.S. Jury Convicts Operator of Counter AV Service Scan4You
A 37-year-old Latvian resident was convicted by a U.S. jury on Wednesday for his role in the operation of a counter antivirus service named Scan4You. Sentencing is scheduled for September 21. Ruslans Bondars, a citizen of the former USSR, had been residing in Riga, Latvia, when he was arrested in May 2017 along with Russian national Jurijs Martisevs.
Martisevs was on a trip to Latvia when he was taken into custody. Bondars and Martisevs were accused of running the Scan4You service, which helped cybercriminals test their malware to ensure that it would not be detected by cybersecurity products. Bondars was convicted on Wednesday on one count of conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of computer intrusion with intent to cause damage and aiding and abetting.
Martisevs pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy, for which he faces up to 5 years in prison, and aiding and abetting computer intrusions, for which he faces 10 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for July. According to Trend Micro, whose experts helped authorities investigate Scan4You, the service was launched in 2009 and was active until the arrests of its operators.
An unnamed individual from Great Falls, Virginia, was also allegedly involved. Bondars (known online as b0rland and Borland) and Martisevs (known online as Garrik) started their cybercrime career in at least 2006, and they managed to turn Scan4You into one of the largest counter antivirus services, with thousands of customers. Scan4You allowed cybercriminals to conduct 100,000 scans per month for £30 and £0.15 for single scans.
The service was also popular among counter antivirus resellers such as Indetectables, RazorScanner and reFUD.me. Trend Micro says Bondars and Martisevs were also involved with a shady online pharmacy and launched their own banking malware campaigns. However, they did a poor job at hiding their identity.
Bondars, for instance, used the same Gmail account to register command and control (C&C) domains for his banking malware and to create a Facebook account. The Gmail account contained his real name and profile photo. According to authorities, Scan4You was used to test the malware involved in the massive 2013 breach at the U.S. retailer Target.
The service was also used in the development of Citadel, a banking trojan that infected over 11 million computers worldwide, which resulted in over £500 million in fraud-related losses. Related: Briton Pleads Guilty to Running Malware Services Related: Three Plead Guilty in Mirai Botnet Attacks