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Russian who hacked Amazon.com caught

July 19, 2012 at 4:30 PM

SEATTLE, July 19 (UPI) -- Federal prosecutors in Seattle said a Russian man accused of disrupting Amazon.com's operations with cyberattacks has been caught in Cyprus.

Dmitry Zubakha of Moscow was arrested on an international warrant in Cyprus Wednesday, Jenny A. Durkan, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington, said in a release Thursday.

Zubakha, 25, was indicted in May 2011 for two denial-of-service attacks on Amazon Web sites on June 6, 2008, and again on June 9, 2008. The indictment also details cyberattacks on the eBay Internet auction site and Priceline.com.

"These cyber bandits do serious harm to our businesses and their customers," Durkan said. "But the old adage is true: The arm of the law is long. This defendant could not hide in cyberspace, and I congratulate the international law enforcement agencies who tracked him down and made this arrest."

In the Amazon.com attacks, Zubakha allegedly used a botnet – a network of connected computers – to block customers' access to Amazon for hours. He and a co-conspirator took credit in hacker forums.

In one case, a co-conspirator phoned Priceline offering consulting services to halt a denial-of-service attack. Zubakha was also charged with aggravated identity theft for illegally using the credit card of a Lake Stevens, Wash., resident.

He could face up to 10 years in prison and heavy fines if convicted.

Durkan, who heads the Justice Department's Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Enforcement Committee, said Zubakha's arrest in Cyprus was "extremely complex" and the fruit of a joint effort by the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Secret Service and the Seattle Police Department.

The United States is seeking his extradition from Cyprus.

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