The Justice Department explained that Citadel was designed to infect computer systems and steal financial account credentials and personal information.
Users of Citadel targeted and exploited the computer network of major financial and government institutions around the world, including several institutions the United States, the release noted.
The malware program infected an estimated 11 million computers worldwide and is responsible for more than $500 million in losses, the release also said.
Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said extradition to the US by third-party countries is unacceptable, referring to Vartanyan's case, a US-Russian citizen who has been detained since 2014 at the request of the US for alleged computer crimes.
In recent months, the US intelligence community has launched a full-fledged assault that the US was 'hacked' by the Russians. But the report produced circumstantial evidence that did not amount to the definitive evidence required to warrant such bold claims. For instance, 43 percent of the suspicious IP addresses used by 'Russian hackers' were simplyTor exit nodes.
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) February 18, 2016
Bill Binney, a 35-year NSA veteran-turned-whistleblower, conclude that the 'hacking' was actually an internal leak, citing the lack of smoking gun evidence.