A hacker who was arrested as well as pleaded guilty last year—not because he hacked someone, nevertheless for creating as well as selling a remote access trojan of which helped cyber criminals—has finally been sentenced to serve almost three years in prison.
Taylor Huddleston, 26, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, pleaded guilty in July 2017 to one charge of aiding as well as abetting computer intrusions by building as well as intentionally selling a remote access trojan (RAT), called NanoCore, to hackers for $25.
Huddleston was arrested in March, almost two months before the FBI raided his house in Hot Springs, Arkansas as well as left with his computers after 90 minutes, only to return eight weeks later with handcuffs.
This particular case is actually a rare example of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) charging someone not for actively using malware to hack victims’ computers, nevertheless for developing as well as selling the idea to some other cybercriminals.
Huddleston admitted to the court of which he created his software knowing the idea would certainly be used by some other cybercriminals to break the law.
He initially started out developing NanoCore in late 2012 which has a motive to offer a low-budget remote management software for schools, the idea-conscious businesses, as well as parents who desired to monitor their children’s activities on the web.
However, Huddleston marketed as well as sold the NanoCore RAT for $25 in underground hacking forums of which were extremely favorite with cybercriminals around the planet through January 2014 to February 2016. He then sold ownership of NanoCore to a third-party in 2016.
NanoCore RAT happens to be favorite among cybercriminals on underground hacking forums as well as has been linked to intrusions in at least ten countries. Among the victims was a high-profile assault on Middle Eastern energy firms in 2015.
Huddleston also agreed with prosecutors of which NanoCore RAT as well as available third-party plugins offered a full set of features including:
- Stealing sensitive information through victim computers, such as passwords, emails, as well as instant messages.
- Remotely activating as well as controlling connected webcams on the victims’ computers in order to spy on them.
- Ability to view, delete, as well as download files.
- Locking infected PCs as well as holding them to ransom.
- Using infected PCs to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on websites as well as similar services.
In July plea, Huddleston also took responsibility for creating as well as operating a software licensing system called “Net Seal” of which was used by another suspect, Zachary Shames, to sell thousands of copies of Limitless keylogger.
Shames used Net Seal to infect 3,000 people of which were, in turn, used the idea to infect 16,000 computers, according to the DoJ.
In his guilty plea, Huddleston admitted of which he intended his products to be used maliciously.
Besides the 33-month prison sentence handed down by judges on Friday, Huddleston also gets two years of supervised Discharge.