Crook faces up to 35 years in prison for operating the popular Scan4You counter anti-virus (CAV) website that helped malware authors to test the evasion capabilities of their codes.

Scan4You is a familiar service for malware developers that used it as a counter anti-virus (CAV).

Scan4You allowed vxers to check their malware against as many as 40 antivirus solutions.

scan4you

Scan4You was probably the largest counter anti-virus website, it went offline in May 2017 after authorities arrested two men in Latvia, the Russian national Jurijs Martisevs (36) (aka “Garrik”) and Ruslans Bondars (37) (aka “Borland”).

Both suspects were extradited by the FBI to the United States.

Jurijs Martisevs was traveling to Latvia when he was arrested by authorities and in March he pleaded guilty in a Virginia court to charges of conspiracy and aiding and abetting computer intrusion.

On Wednesday, Bondars was found guilty of conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and computer intrusion with intent to cause damage.

“Ruslans Bondars helped hackers test and improve the malware they then used to inflict hundreds of millions of dollars in losses on American companies and consumers,” said John P. Cronan, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division

“Today’s verdict should serve as a warning to those who aid and abet criminal hackers: the Criminal Division and our law enforcement partners consider you to be just as culpable as the hackers whose crimes you enable—and we will work tirelessly to identify you, prosecute you, and seek stiff sentences that reflect the seriousness of your crimes.”

Bondars faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison when sentenced on September 21, 2018.

Scan4You was launched in 2009 with the intent to offer a service that helped malware developers to check evasion capabilities of their code.

For a monthly fee, malware authors could upload their samples to the service that test their evasion capabilities against a broad range of anti-virus products.

The service is similar to the legitimate VirusTotal with the difference that Scan4You did not share submissions with the security community.

“Scan4you differed from legitimate antivirus scanning services in multiple ways. For example, while legitimate scanning services share data about uploaded files with the antivirus community and notify their users that they will do so, Scan4you instead informed its users that they could upload files anonymously and promised not to share information about the uploaded files with the antivirus community.” continues the DoJ.

According to the DoJ, crooks used Scan4You’s services to test the infamous Citadel malware that was used in the cyber attack against the retail giant Target.

Even if Scan4You was taken offline, crooks have other ways to test their malware before spreading them in the wild. Law enforcement must remain vigilant to prevent the growth of other similar services.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – CAV, Scan4You)

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