Latvia to extradite suspected Gozi virus hacker to U.S.

RIGA Tue Aug 6, 2013 10:41am EDT

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RIGA (Reuters) - The Latvian government agreed on Tuesday to extradite a man to the United States where he is charged with creating and distributing a virus that infected more than a million computers around the world.

Deniss Calovskis, along with Russian Nikita Kuzmin and Romaninan Mihai Ionut Paunescu, is accused of running a cybercrime ring that released the so-called Gozi virus, which prosecutors said was one of the most financially destructive computer viruses in history.

Calovskis, 27, was detained in Riga in December 2012. He denies the charges.

The virus infected at least 40,000 computers in the United States, including more than 160 NASA computers. It was used to access personal bank account information from computer users and steal millions of dollars from customer accounts globally, according to papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Calovskis's attorney Saulvedis Varpins told LNT television on Tuesday that the investigation ought to take place in Latvia rather than in the United States, and that he would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

(Reporting by Aija Braslina; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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