Malware writer told to pay $6.9 million damages

top-10-hacker-arrests-in-2013_NikitaA Russian man who spent about three years behind bars in the United States for creating the computer malware known as Gozi has been told to pay $6.9 million to cover losses to bank customers.

Nikita Kuzmin, 28, could have received more prison time but was sentenced to time served at a hearing in Manhattan federal court. He was jailed in August 2011 and held for 37 months before authorities released him.

Apparently he got a lot of time off for helping coppers with their inquiries.  Kuzmin’s attorney, Alan Futerfas, confirmed the sentence and said Kuzmin was glad to put the episode behind him and move on to the next stage of his life. He declined to say what Kuzmin’s plans were.

It is not clear if Kuzmin had a spare $6.9 million lying around, but at the time Prosecutors described Kuzmin as an innovator in online crime, saying he not only created Gozi but rented it out to criminals who used it to steal tens of millions of dollars from bank accounts.

Kuzmin was arrested in 2010 after he travelled to a conference in the United States. He pleaded guilty in May 2011 in a cooperation agreement with US prosecutors.