Swedish man pleads guilty to peddling Blackshades malware

Blackshades was widely used in the cybercriminal underground for about three years

A Swedish man pleaded guilty Wednesday to peddling one of the most prevalent spying programs called Blackshades that was widely used by the criminal underground.

Alex Yucel, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of distributing malicious software. He could face a maximum of 10 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said. He is expected to be sentenced on May 22.

BlackShades, a remote access trojan, was marketed by its developers as a program for legitimate computer monitoring but was mostly used for stealing payment card data, recording a computer's keystrokes and secretly controlling webcams. It was sold for between US$40 to $100.

Several thousand people bought Blackshades, and investigators said it may have infected more than 500,000 computers worldwide.

In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop other charges that accused Yucel of conspiracy to commit computer hacking, conspiracy to commit access device fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Yucel was arrested in Moldova in November 2013 and is the first person to be extradited to the U.S. from there. He is suspected of creating Blackshades around 2010 and advertising it on underground hacker forums.

It was very versatile malware, capable of grabbing information entered into forms and conducting distributed denial-of-service attacks.

Those using Blackshades were targeted in a massive law enforcement effort in May 2014 involving 16 countries. Ninety-seven people suspected of either creating or buying were arrested after the raids.

Michael Hogue, who was accused of being a co-creator of Blackshades, pleaded guilty in January 2013 and is awaiting sentencing, prosecutors said.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securitycybercrimemalwarelegalCriminalno company

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?