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Historic crime! Man extradited to U.S. on hacking charges over Gozi virus that hit NASA

A Romanian man is accused of helping to distribute a computer virus that infected more than 1 million computers and caused major financial losses worldwide.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that a Romanian man is accused of helping distribute a computer virus that infected more than 1 million computers and caused major financial losses worldwide.

Mihai Paunescu, 37, is accused of running a hosting service that helped distribute the Gozi virus, which is virtually undetectable, and stole personal bank account information. He made an initial appearance in federal court in Manhattan on Monday, where he was ordered detained.

Prosecutors say the virus is the most financially devastating in history, causing tens of millions of dollars in damages for victims.

The virus was first discovered in 2007 and infected at least 40,000 computers in the United States, including more than 160 belonging to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Paunescu was extradited from Colombia after his arrest last year, and charged with computer hacking conspiracy and bank and wire fraud conspiracy.

A lawyer for Ponescu did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Paunescu was previously arrested in Romania in 2012 and released on bail.

US prosecutors announced charges the following year against Paunescu and Nikita Kuzmin, the Russian creator of the virus, who pleaded guilty in secret in 2011 as part of a cooperation agreement.


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