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Russian Hacker Hit With Nine-Year Jail Sentence For Targeting UK Companies

A Russian hacker who was able to steal more than $2.7 million from businesses in the U.K. has been sentenced to nine years in jail, according to SC Magazine.

The publication reported Monday (Dec. 4) that Vugar Mollachiev, who currently resides in North London, was sentenced for conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. He was already known to law enforcement officials from a separate cybercrime investigation.

Mollachiev, who spent money stolen from U.K. and European businesses on high-value goods or laundered it, was arrested in March. He conspired with a group of other hackers who would hack into companies to steal passwords and other sensitive data to gain access to corporate bank accounts. Their tactics resulted in more than $2.7 million successfully swindled from their targets.

Reports in The Guardian in March said Mollachiev was arrested with co-hacker Abdurahman Bazaev. At the time, the Metropolitan police’s Falcon cybercrime unit also seized computers at the time of the arrest.

Mollachiev’s sentencing comes as the U.K.’s cyber-defense chief, Ciaran Martin, heightens criticism over Russia. Last month, Martin accused Russia of conducting cyberattacks against the UK.’s media, telecommunications and energy industries in the past year to “undermine the international system,” according to BBC reports.

The reports also coincided with revelations that tens of thousands of Russia-based social media accounts, many of which were automated bots, were posting about #Brexit in the days leading up to the Brexit vote to influence it’s outcome, according to researchers at the Times.

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee has also raised alarms about Russian social media bots’ alleged influence over the U.S. 2016 presidential election. July reports in Russia RIA, however, said the U.S. and Russia could be collaborating to form a cybersecurity working group to combat cybercrime and cyber fraud.

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