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Co-Author of Blackshades Pleads Guilty in US Court

Usatoday.com reported on 18th February, 2015 stating that Alex Yucel, the co-author of Blackshades malware which infected more than a half-million computers all over the world pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court on 18th February, 2015.

The federal investigator said that the Swedish citizen faces jail term up to 10 years with a fine and compensation amounting to thousands of dollars for his role in a scheme of distributing Blackshades to thousands of cybercriminals worldwide.

Conspirators installed remote Access Tool RAT of Blackshades on the computers of innocent users and ran the scheme from 2010 to 2013. The program costing $40 enabled crooks to access and see the files, photos and documents, record keystrokes, steal passwords and even they used the cameras of the machine to spy on users.

Users of Blackshades often sent electronic ransom notes to extract money from victims for releasing the computers from secret control. Prosecutors said that one such note warned: "Your computer has been hijacked and your private files in your computer has now been encrypted which means that they cannot be accessed and can be decrypted/restored only by us.

Yucel was arrested in November 2013 in Moldova and later extradited to the US. Prosecutors said that he ran the Blackshades organization under the name "marjinz".

Authorities said that the organization sold Blackshades RAT malware to thousands of users in more than 100 countries. Prosecutors said that Yucel employed paid administrators with a marking director and customer service representatives to boost his business and making BlackShades to generate sales of more than $350,000 by April 2014.

Yucel was charged of five counts according to the original indictment document in 2013 as conspiracy to commit hacking of computer, distribution of malicious software, conspiracy to commit access device fraud, identity theft and access device fraud.

Yucel is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center and he is scheduled to be sentenced on 22nd May, 2015 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

RAT co-creator Michael Hogue was arrested in 2012 and he was also facing sentence but he helped investigators in lieu of a part deal; Brendan Johnson, administrator of a Blackshades; and two customers as Kyle Fedorek and Marlen Rappa.

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