One of the world’s most notorious hackers has been extradited to the U.S. from Spain. Thirty-seven-year-old Pyotr Levashov was arrested while vacationing with his family in Barcelona in April, Spanish authorities said.
U.S. officials have linked Levashov to a powerful network of hijacked computers, known as botnets, capable of sending out billions of spam emails. According to an indictment, Levashov controlled a network of more than 100,000 hacked computers that sent phony emails advertising counterfeit drugs. In addition, the computers installed sophisticated programs, or malware, that captured users’ logins and passwords, including bank account passwords.
On a typical day, the network would blast out 2,500 spam emails.
Levashov’s lawyers say the case is politically motivated. Russia submitted a counter-extradition request, which Spain rejected. Levashov pleaded not guilty in a federal courthouse in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and remains in custody.