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Australian police charge banking Trojan suspect

Alleged perp also faces drug and botnet herding charges

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Australian police have charged an as yet unnamed 20 year-old man on suspicion of creating a banking Trojan that infected an estimated 3,000 computers worldwide, as well as building up a 74,000 strong botnet of compromised machines.

The name of the suspect will not be revealed until he faces magistrates in Adelaide, South Australia, on 4 September. South Australia state police charged the man with computer crimes offences, including hacking and developing "capabilities to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks with up to 74,000 computers world wide".

The alleged miscreant, who lives in the western suburbs of Adelaide, was also charged with theft and drug trafficking offences. The charges follow an ongoing three-month investigation involving South Australian state and federal computer crime investigators, and which may lead to the arrest of other suspects.

A statement (PDF) by South Australia police on the case states that the offences the suspect is charged with carry prison terms of between two to 10 years imprisonment. The lead role in the prosecution of the South Australia Police Electronic Crime Section strongly implies that the "trafficking a controlled substance" charge covers only a small quantity of drugs, otherwise the relevant drug squad would be taking a far closer interest in the case. ®

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