BlackShades privacy raiding web rat gets five years in US cooler

US says remote access trojan had thousands of victims

Swedish BlackShades co-creator Alex Yucel has been sentenced to nearly five years in a US cooler for selling and distributing the remote access trojan (RAT).

Yucel, 25, pled guilty February in a New York court to slinging the perverted mutation of a legitimate system administration tool and was forced to forfeit $US200,000 in criminal earnings.

The hacker had sold Blackshades since 2010 to thousands of people customers in hundreds of countries making some $US350,000 in profit, the US Department of Justice says.

“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," Manhattan attorney Preet Bharara says.

"This malware victimised thousands of people across the globe and invaded their lives."

Co-creator Michael Hogue has pled guilty and awaits sentencing. Site admin Brendan Johnston and customer Marlen Rappa were sentenced to a year in prison while a second customer Kyle Fedorek who raided the bank accounts of 400 people was sentenced to two years.

Yucel is the first person to be extradited from Moldova where he was arrested November 2013 to the United States.

BlackShades like scores of other remote access tools can enable keylogging, screen capture, password theft, and webcam actions.

Yucel flogged the tool for $US40 on underground crime forums. Buyers would use the tool's inbuilt spreader feature to send phishing links from a victim's email or social media accounts to their contacts in a bid to maximise infection rates.

The scam unravelled as part of an international raid that netted 97 suspects. ®

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