The Dark Webs: Sergei Makinin's Botnet Empire Crumbles


Published on Nov 15, 2023   —   2 min read

Intrigue in the World of Cybercrime

In a groundbreaking cybercrime case, Sergei Makinin, a dual Russian and Moldovan national, has pled guilty to operating an illicit botnet service that infected tens of thousands of devices worldwide. This news has sent shockwaves through the digital world, unraveling a tale of cyber deceit and international law enforcement collaboration.

The Rise of IPStorm

Makinin's operation was centered around the notorious IPStorm malware. Starting in June 2019, this sophisticated software infiltrated countless devices, including those running Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android operating systems. The malware's reach was global, affecting devices in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Makinin's botnet, a network of these compromised devices, was then leveraged in a profit-driven scheme. By converting these devices into proxies, Makinin sold access to them through his websites, and, allowing customers to mask their online activities. This service wasn't cheap – some clients paid hundreds of dollars monthly for the privilege​​.

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