"A Latvian man made his initial appearance today in Minneapolis following extradition from Poland for his involvement in a 'scareware' hacking scheme that targeted the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s website and caused millions of dollars in losses to Internet users," the statement said on Monday.
Peteris Sahurovs, also known as "Piotrek" and "Sagade," was indicted in 2011 in Minnesota on charges of wire fraud, computer fraud and conspiracy. He was arrested in Poland in November 2016, and extradition procedures were initiated.
Scareware is a type of malicious software, or malware, which tells users they must purchase what they are told is anti-virus software in order to repair their computers. Users are barraged with notifications until they supply their credit card number and pay for a fake "anti-virus" product.
According to the indictment, Sahurovos and his cohorts created a fraudulent online advertising agency to spread the malware through the Minneapolis Star Tribune's news website. They allegedly raked in more than $2 million with the scheme.