Man pleads guilty in creating software to drain bank accounts

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

ATLANTA (AP) – A Russian man who federal authorities say created a computer program used to drain bank accounts has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge.

Aleksandr Andreevich Panin, who’s also known as “Gribodemon,” pleaded guilty Tuesday to a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

Another man, Hamza Bendelladj, was also indicted in the case and pleaded not guilty in May after being extradited from Thailand, where he was arrested a year ago.

Authorities say the 24-year-old Panin is the main author of SpyEye. The program is a banking Trojan, which was implanted onto computers to harvest financial information and drain bank accounts. Authorities have said the malware impacted 253 financial institutions and is responsible for untold amounts of financial theft.

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