MINNEAPOLIS — A Latvian man has made an initial appearance in U.S. federal court for his alleged involvement in a hacking scheme that caused internet users to lose millions of dollars.
Twenty-eight-year-old Peteris Sahurovs was indicted in 2011 in a “scareware” scheme that targeted the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s website.
The indictment says Sahurovs and an accomplice created a phony advertising agency and bought ads on startribune.com, then infected computer users who visited the site with malware. The affected computer users were tricked into buying purported antivirus software.
The scheme generated more than $2 million.
Sahurovs was arrested in Latvia in June 2011 but fled after a Latvian court released him. He was arrested in Poland last fall and extradited to the U.S.
The federal defender’s office will represent him, but he hasn’t yet been assigned an attorney.