Bulgarian police have arrested a Russian hacker that was hunted by US authorities for committing a $7 million advertising fraud.
Alexander Zhukov is the name of the hacker, who is known online by the name of “Nastra,” which now is waiting to be extradited to the US.
Alexander Zhukov, from Saint Petersburg, is living in Varna, Bulgaria, since 2010. During the 8 years stay in Bulgaria Zhukov have been involved in an ad fraud scheme that Google shut down at the end of October.
Bulgarian authorities arrested Zhukov on November 6 based on an international arrest warrant issued by the US authorities. Now Zhukov is accused of having committed ad fraud from September 2014 to December 2016.
Zhukov supposedly operated a network of 50 servers that he rented to other people, who’d later use them to could inflate video ad views.
Remember everything can be hacked. In order to stay away from any threats related to the cyber world, we recommend the install of antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac on every device that you own, depending on which OS your device is running. If you are a company, it is also recommended to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network. These tests include penetration testing and ethical hacking tests;
Apparently, Zhukov did not use malware to infect other users’ computers and mobile phones, he strictly relied on his own rented servers. By looking at this detail alone, experts say that Zhukov might not be connected to the October ad fraud, which Google said it relied on the TechSnab malware to perform the fraudulent ad clicks.
Zhukov was known online under the name of Nastra and that he charged $20 per month for his ad fraud service. Zhukov operation was exposed when something went wrong with a deal and the customer turned up all his servers against that customer’s video inventory, generating millions of views, and indirectly raising frags on the advertising networks.
Because Bulgaria is a NATO member and has an extradition treaty with the US, Zhukov will most likely be sent to the US. He’s currently fighting against his extradition which if it will happen it will lead to a sentence of 20 years in prison.
Keep in mind that our modern society is dependent on computers, mobile devices, and the use of the internet always stay safe and secured.
We would continue to monitor the cybersecurity world. Meanwhile, users should keep a keen eye out for any cyber attacks. Remember to use an antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac in every device that you own, depending on which OS your machine is running, If you are a company we recommend to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network, tests like this include: penetration testing and ethical hacking.