A man who spent years on the run from the FBI for his part in a lucrative criminal operation that spread scareware via the Minnesota Star Tribune website has finally been sent to prison.
Twenty-nine-year-old Peteris Sahurovs (also known as “Piotrek” and “Sagade”) was sentenced this week by a U.S. court to 33 months in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
The story starts in February 2010 when visitors to the website of The Star Tribune, Minnesota’s largest newspaper, reported seeing fake alerts that their computers were infected by malware.
Scared users were informed that their PCs had a security problem and were urged to purchase software called “Antivirus Soft” at a price of $49.95 to fix the issue.
Inundated with reports from readers, The Star Tribune disabled all of its online advertising while it investigated the incident. It also published a warning to readers:
We have received reports that a third-party advertising network has been placing a “Malware Ad” onto our site.
A “Malware Ad” is a potentially malicious ad that could contain a virus or attempt to get you to pay for unsolicited services. The ad informs you that your machine has been infected with a virus and that you should click it to run a scan on your machine. We do not approve of this ad and consider it a potential security threat to your computer — although we do not yet know that for certain.
We take this situation very seriously and are responding aggressively to get it resolved. We have removed all ad networks from our site. All advertising networks will be required to perform complete a check of every ad they run, and to verify that they are not running this ad, before we allow them to run on our (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from The State of Security authored by Graham Cluley. Read the original post at: https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/security-data-protection/prison-for-man-who-assisted-scareware-scheme-that-targeted-newspaper-website/