Computer Ransom Hacker Jailed In New York

A Swedish man who created malware which infected half a million computers around the world has been jailed in New York.

Alex Yucel, 25, owned the Blackshade organisation which sold sophisticated software to thousands of hackers in more than 100 countries.

The program allowed hackers to access private photographs, passwords, spy on victims through webcams.

Data could also be locked, with victims then sent “ransom notes” to extort money.

In some cases, hackers obtained access to webcams to spy inside private homes, and victims could also be harassed using messages which computers would read aloud.

More than half a million computers were eventually infected, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.

Yucel was arrested in Moldova in November 2013 and extradited to the US, where he pleaded guilty to computer hacking in February.

As a result of the plea, he avoided the maximum 17 year sentence, and will instead spend 57 months behind bars.

Almost 100 other people were arrested across Europe in May 2014, accused of being involved in the creation and sale of the malware.

Manhattan attorney Preet Bharara said: “This malware victimised thousands of people across the globe and invaded their lives. But Yucel’s computer hacking days are now over.”

Source: Sky News

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