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Swedish man behind BlackShades malware pleads guilty in US court

Co-creator of the BlackShades malware pleads guilty, and faces up to 10 years in prison.

Published Thu, Feb 19 2015 9:30 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:09 PM CST

Swedish citizen Alex Yucel, 24, has pleaded guilty for his role in being co-creator of the BlackShades malware, which infected more than 500,000 PCs across the world. Yucel pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of malicious software, and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Swedish man behind BlackShades malware pleads guilty in US court | TweakTown.com

In exchange for his guilty plea, there is a stipulated agreement that will see Yucel receive a sentence ranging from 70 to 87 months. "I do actually want to plead guilty," Yucel said in his court appearance. "I knew that the program would be used to cause damage."

Yucel was arrested in November 2013 while in Moldova, and was extradited to the United States. As the operator of the criminal organization, Yucel hired administrators, marketing and customer support staff to interact with customers - generating upwards of $350,000 in revenue.

The BlackShades remote access tool (RAT) malware was sent to thousands of cybercriminals, paying $40 for the custom software. Infected users were vulnerable because hackers were able to view files, documents, photos, steal passwords, record keystrokes and remotely access cameras and microphones.

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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