UPDATED 20:54 EDT / MAY 06 2019


Ukrainian man extradited over 100M+ ads malvertising scheme

A Ukranian man has been extradited to the U.S. after being arrested last year in The Netherlands in relation to a massive online malvertising scheme.

Oleksii Petrovich Ivanov, 31 was charged in December, but details of his arrest and the allegations against him have only been revealed following his extradition last week.

Between October 2013 and May 2018, Ivanov is alleged to have been behind multiple fake companies that delivered over 100 million malicious ads to people worldwide. Those companies are said to have purchased ad space from advertising networks to deliver ads that sent users to sites that hosted malware, other unwanted advertising and other computers that could install malware.

Ivanov and others “caused unsuspecting Internet users to view or access their malicious advertisements on more than one hundred million occasions, the indictment explains. “By launching these malicious advertisement campaigns, Ivanov and his co-conspirators attempted to cause millions of dollars of losses to victim Internet users.”

The scheme saw Ivanov also using fake aliases. In one example, Ivanov, posing as “Dmitrij Zaleskis,” the chief executive officer of a fake United Kingdom company called “Veldex Limited,” managed to book advertising on an unnamed U.S. internet advertising company, including one campaign that was viewed or accessed about 17.3 million times. When an ad company would discover the malvertising and block Ivanov’s access, he’d create a new alias and fake company and do the same thing again.

In addition to malvertising, Ivanov is also accused of having established a botnet, using malware distributed by the advertising, which he offered to sell access to others for a profit. “Ivanov is alleged to have successfully infected or aided and abetted the infection of computers with malware that he controlled, including botnet malware that infected more than one hundred devices in the District of New Jersey,” a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice notes.

Ivanov has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, four counts of wire fraud and one count of computer fraud. All six of the charges have significant maximum prison penalties attached to them.

Image: Pixabay

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