Russian hacker behind NLBrute malware extradited to US

Dariy Pankov, a 28-year-old Russian national accused of developing a brute-forcing tool, was extradited to the US, facing over four decades behind bars.

Pankov, also known by the alias “dpxaker,” was charged with computer fraud, conspiracy, and access device fraud. According to the US Justice Department, Pankov faces a maximum sentence of 47 years in federal prison.

US authorities claim that the Russian national created the NLBrute tool, a malware used to decrypt login credentials, such as passwords and encryption keys.

NLBrute is a brute-forcing tool that automates password guessing by trying all possible combinations of symbols, characters, or numbers to uncover the access code.

“Pankov used NLBrute to obtain the login credentials of tens of thousands of computers located all over the world. He marketed, sold, and had others sell on his behalf, NLBrute to other cybercriminals for a fee,” Justice Department said.

Moreover, the authorities believe the Russian national sold stolen credentials on dark web forums trading data on compromised devices. Pankov is believed to have compromised 35,000 devices and netted over $350,000 from selling credentials.

The suspect was arrested in the Republic of Georgia last October and extradited to the US. American authorities expect to forfeit Pankov’s illegal earnings, which they believe to be traceable.

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