Romanian hacker faces US trial over virus-for-hire service

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Cybercrime may be a global industry — but that doesn’t mean criminals are immune from facing prosecution across borders.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today that it had extradited dual Romanian / Latvian national Mihai Ionut Paunescu — known as “Virus” — to the US from Colombia for allegedly designing malware used to steal money from bank accounts across the world and operating the infrastructure used to distribute it.

Paunescu is alleged to be one of the creators of the Gozi Virus, a Trojan that infected millions of computers in countries including the US, UK, Germany, Italy, and Finland between 2007 to 2012. Distributed through corrupted PDF documents, the Gozi Virus captured banking login details and passwords from…

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