Russian hacker gets 46 months in U.S. prison for role in creating huge botnet

Maxim Senakh utilized malware known as Ebury to steal credentials and build up a global botnet involving tens of thousands of compromised machines.
(Getty Images)

Maxim Senakh, a Russian citizen who pleaded guilty earlier this year to involvement in a global botnet conspiracy, was sentenced to 46 months in a U.S. prison followed by deportation.

Senakh utilized malware known as Ebury to steal credentials and build up a botnet involving tens of thousands of compromised machines in the U.S. and around the world.

Senakh, 41, was arrested in 2015 in Finland on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized Senakh’s detention as an “illegal practice” and a “witchhunt.” He pleaded guilty March 28, 2017.

The botnet was used to generate and redirect internet traffic to make money from click-fraud and email spam worth millions of dollars in revenue, prosecutors said. Senakh admitted to playing a role in a broader criminal enterprise by developing the botnet’s infrastructure through creating accounts with domain registrars and then profiting from the botnet’s actions.


“The defendant and his co-conspirators sought to turn a network of thousands of infected computers in the United States and around the world into their personal cash machines,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco said in a statement following the sentencing.

“Working within a massive criminal enterprise, Maxim Senakh helped create a sophisticated infrastructure that victimized thousands of Internet users across the world,” Acting U.S. Attorney Brooker added.

The indictment outlining the full case can be read below:

Latest Podcasts