Infamous Belarusian Hacker "Ar3s" behind Massive Andromeda Botnet Released

Sergei Yaretz, 35-year-old, one of the most wanted hackers from Belarus who was arrested in last December has been released.  It is reported that this is the first time in Belarus there was a process of cyber crime.

In December 2017, Sergei also known as 'Ar3s'( 'Арес' in Russian/Ares - The Greek god of war, also fictional super villain in DC Comics)  was arrested in a joint operation involving Belarus, U.S FBI and European Law Enforcement Agencies in order to dismantle the notorious botnet "Andromeda".

It is reported that the hacker is recognized as a leading expert in malware development and reverse engineering.  He was working in a local television "Televid" as a technical director.

He sold the Andromeda malware for $500 and the software update for $10.  In addition, Sergei was accused of administering forums for hackers.   He also reportedly charged about $250 for any assistance in taking data from any web browser.

He is also the administrator of the Andromeda bot network.  The Andromeda botnet is made up of a large number of computers that have been infected with malware that allows hackers to control them.  He also leased these networks to other criminal groups or individual hackers to mount malware or phishing or similar cyber attacks.
The Andromeda botnet was used by many cyber criminal groups to distribute a large number of malware.  According to Microsoft, there was 2 million infected computers were under the control of this botnet prior to the take down.
Sergei said that his program did no harm to the computer.  It all depends on the buyer.   He said he didn't steal money from anyone, was only selling the program.  He also said that the original developer of this malware from Russia asked him to help in distributing this malware because the original author did not have time.

It is reported that Microsoft sent a document to the local authorities stating that damage caused by the Ares is about 10 million dollars.  However, it was not presented in the court.  Only the 11,000 Belarusian rubles is considered as the damage of his action which he earned by selling the malware.

He pleaded guilty and repented. He even helped the investigation in the disclosure of the mechanisms of "Andromeda".

The prosecutor asked court to punish Sergei for 2 years of imprisonment.   The court sentenced him to pay a fine.  But, it is said that he does not need to pay the fine as he already spent 6 months in a custody during the trial.  According to the local media, he again got a job in TV.
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