The man police say was the SpyEye developer, Hamza Bendelladj, 24, of Algeria, aka “Bx1,” is coming to the U.S. to face charges after his extradition from Thailand, where police arrested him earlier this year while in transit from Malaysia to Egypt.
He stands accused of playing a critical role in developing, marketing, distributing and controlling the SpyEye malware.
Bendelladj faces one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of computer fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud.
If found guilty, he could spend up to 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, up to 5 years for conspiracy to commit computer fraud, up to 20 years for each wire fraud count, and up to 5 or 10 years for each count of computer fraud.
In addition, he could end up paying fines totaling $14 million.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), between 2009 and 2011, Bendelladj and others developed, marketed and sold versions of SpyEye to other cybercriminals.
Authorities said Bendelladj also operated command and control (C&C) servers for the SpyEye malware.
“No violence or coercion was used to accomplish this scheme, just a computer and an Internet connection. Bendelladj’s alleged criminal reach extended across international borders, directly into victims’ homes,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
“In a cyber-netherworld, he allegedly commercialized the wholesale theft of financial and personal information through this virus which he sold to other cybercriminals. Cybercriminals take note; we will find you. This arrest and extradition demonstrates our determination to bring you to justice.”
“The FBI has expanded its international partnerships to allow for such extraditions of criminals who know no borders,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Mark F. Giuliano of the Atlanta Field Office.
“The federal indictment and extradition of Bendelladj should send a very clear message to those international cyber criminals who feel safe behind their computers in foreign lands that they are, in fact, within reach.”