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  • The former CTO, Matjaz Skorjanec, is alleged to be a part of a hacking organization.
  • He is also responsible for the creation and deployment of one of the largest botnets ever, Mariposa.

Matjaz Skorjanec, former CTO and co-founder of the mining power marketplace NiceHash, has been alleged to be a part of a hacking organization. The organization is responsible for the theft of millions of dollars. Skorjanec has reportedly been arrested in Germany over U.S. charges. As per 24UR.com, a Slovenian news site, the German federal police arrested Skorjanec last Monday. The U.S. Department of Justice issued a warrant for his extradition.  

Skorjanec founded and ran Darkode, a cybercrime forum, from 2008 to 2013 for which he is wanted in the US. He is also responsible for the creation and deployment of one of the largest botnets ever, Mariposa. In the recent past, a U.S. federal court unsealed indictments against Skorjanc and three other individuals who were associated with the Darkode. The U.S. had released an international arrest warrant for him as far back as 2011. Skorjanc may face imprisonment of almost 50 years under U.S. law.  

As per a cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs, the U.S. Department of Justice, along with 20 other countries, brought down Darkode in 2015. The DOJ called the forum “one of the gravest threats to the integrity of data on computers in the United States and around the world and was the most sophisticated English-speaking forum for criminal computer hackers in the world.”

NiceHash allows users to rent out their CPU power for mining cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. In December 2017, NiceHash was hacked, leading to a loss of around $63 million in bitcoin from a compromised central wallet. Skorjanc has already served five years in Slovenian prison for releasing the Mariposa botnet. 24UR.com reported that the botnet had infected approximately 1 million computers and hacked personal information causing damages worth $4 million.