A Romanian hacker who ran the infrastructure behind several malware strains was sentenced to three years in U.S. federal prison on Monday.
Prosecutors said 39-year-old Mihai Ionut Paunescu helped run “bulletproof hosting” service PowerHost[.]ro, which helped cybercriminals distribute the Gozi Virus, the Zeus Trojan, the SpyEye Trojan, and the BlackEnergy malware. Cybercriminals used the malware strains to steal financial information, among other purposes.
Paunescu rented servers and IP addresses from legitimate internet providers and then gave the tools to cybercriminals — allowing them to stay anonymous and launch attacks.
Paunescu was also accused of enabling other cybercrimes through his platforms, like distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and spam campaigns. He was convicted on one charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.
“Paunescu ran a ‘bulletproof’ hosting service that enabled cyber criminals throughout the world to spread malware that stole confidential financial information, crashed websites, and caused other harm,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams.