A federal court judge has sentenced the SpyEye malware creators to almost 30 years behind bars for their crimes.
The pair of cybercriminals were found guilty of developing the software and distributing the resulting malware to anyone willing to pay for it. They were also found guilty of using the malware they designed to steal online funds themselves.
The SpyEye software has widely been held responsible for huge losses for online financial service businesses across the globe.
The news was announced by the US Department of Justice on Wednesday.
27-year-old Russian, Aleksandr Panin, was sentenced to spend nine and a half years in jail, while his hacker-in-arms, Algerian national,Hamza Bendellad, also 27, is set to serve 15 years for his part in the crimes.
SpyEye was effectively nothing more than a sophisticated Trojan virus whose sole aim was to gain access to and steal sensitive sensitive financial information from unsuspecting users such as bank account numbers and credit card information, as well as duping people into unveiling pin numbers and logon details.
Infected machines could be used to send on further malware and also forward on mountains of spam mail. At its height, SpyEye was reported as having infected more than 50 million computers worldwide.
The DOJ stated that the damage inflicted by the fallout from SpyEye was estimated at being around 1 billion dollars in terms of financial cost to banks globally
US attorney, John Horn said:
“It is difficult to overstate the significance of this case, not only in terms of bringing two prolific computer hackers to justice, but also in disrupting and preventing immeasurable financial losses to individuals and the financial industry around the world.”
The FBI were aided in their investigation by some rather notable tech companies, including Microsoft, Trend Micro, and several international police forces.