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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Cybercriminal Convicted of Computer Hacking and Sentenced to Statutory Maximum

Court Directs Forfeiture Of Defendant’s Botnet

Earlier today, Fabio Gasperini, an Italian citizen, was sentenced by United States District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis following his conviction by a federal jury in Brooklyn of one count of computer intrusion. The defendant was sentenced to the statutory maximum sentence of one year of imprisonment, a $100,000 fine, and one year of supervised release following incarceration. The Court also directed the forfeiture of the defendant’s botnet, the infrastructure used to manage and run the botnet (including computers, command-and-control servers, and domains), and the backdoor that the defendant installed on victim computers worldwide.

The sentence was announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI).

As proven at trial, Gasperini spread malicious software onto computer servers in the United States and around the world and thereby covertly hacked into them. Gasperini’s scheme specifically targeted a type of computer server that companies and individuals typically use for large-scale data storage and transfer. Gasperini obtained control over the servers and the sensitive data and files they contained. Gasperini also created an exclusive backdoor that enabled him to access the data and computing power of those servers in perpetuity. In so doing, Gasperini created a botnet. A botnet is a network of computers (such as servers) infected with malicious software without the true owners’ knowledge or permission; a hacker can remotely control and use a botnet for malicious purposes.

Gasperini used the servers in his botnet to scan the internet, identify additional vulnerable servers for infection, and expand his botnet. ’s botnet encompassed over 100,000 computers around the world. Gasperini used specialized command-and-control servers in the United States to manage the botnet and to provide instructions and resources to the servers in the botnet.

In announcing the sentencing, Acting United States Attorney Rohde expressed her grateful appreciation to the Netherlands Ministry of Security and Justice, for their assistance in effecting the defendant’s arrest and extradition; the Italian Postal and Telecommunications Service, for their assistance in the investigation; the United States Marshals Service, for their assistance in transporting the defendant to the United States; and the U.S. Department of State Regional Security Officer in the Netherlands, for their assistance in facilitating the defendant’s extradition.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security & Cybercrime Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Saritha Komatireddy and Melody Wells are in charge of the prosecution, and Assistant United States Attorney Brian D. Morris is in charge of forfeiture in the case.

The Defendant:

 

FABIO GASPERINI

Age: 35

Residence: Rome, Italy

 

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 16-CR-441

Topic(s): 
Cyber Crime
Contact: 
John Marzulli Tyler Daniels (718) 254-6323
Updated August 9, 2017