A US court has sentenced the creator of the Blackshades malware to almost five years in prison.
Swedish national Alex Yucel, the creator of a malware attack known as Blackshades RAT, pleaded guilty to hacking charges earlier this year, and was sentenced this week to 57 months in prison by US district judge P. Kevin Castel.
"Alex Yucel created, marketed and sold software that was designed to accomplish just one thing: gain control of a computer, and with it, a victim's identity and other important information," said Manhattan US attorney Preet Bharara as he announced the sentencing.
"This malware victimised thousands of people across the globe and invaded their lives. But Yucel's computer hacking days are now over."
Co-creater of Blackshades malware sentenced to 57 months in prison http://t.co/BwMEPPjNpo— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) June 23, 2015
Nearly five years in prison for Alex Yucel, co-creator of Blackshades malware that enabled a half-million hacks per @SDNYnews— Aaron Katersky (@AaronKatersky) June 23, 2015
Blackshades is a dangerous threat that can take over computers, right down to the webcam, and steal personal and financial information.
A coordinated international effort that included the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) shut down the Blackshades attacks in 2014.
Over 80 people were arrested in raids in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, the UK, Finland, Austria, Estonia, Denmark, the US, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Italy, Moldova and Switzerland.
Over 1,000 storage devices were confiscated, and the whole cyber criminal fraternity was warned that they are running out of hiding places.
"Criminals [are] finding out that committing crimes remotely offers no protection from arrest," said Andy Archibald, deputy director of the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit at the time.
"The unique scale of this cyber operation shows what can happen when law enforcement agencies at local, national and international level work together to tackle the perpetrators and help keep people safe.
"Cyber crime is one of the most significant criminal threats to the UK. The NCA is helping to build the capacity of its partners across the country and co-ordinating the UK's collective efforts as part of the response."
Yucel sold and distributed Blackshade RAT as a $40 download to thousands of online criminals since his operations began in 2010.
He was sentenced to three years' supervised release when his prison time expires, and a forfeiture of $200,000.
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