Home Security Trend Micro helps to put UK cyber crook behind bars

Trend Micro helps to put UK cyber crook behind bars

Security firm Trend Micro has helped the UK National Crime Authority to put a man behind bars on three charges of computer offences.

The company said Goncalo Esteves of Essex had pleaded guilty to offences under the Computer Misuse Act and the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Esteves was behind the creation of the crypting services Cryptex Reborn and Cryptex Lite; he admitted his involvement, was charged and pleaded guilty.

The service was a single one, known as Cryptex, until 2011 after which it was forked into full and lite versions, the former selling for US$20 per month or US$30 for a lifetime licence.

A crypting service can encrypt, obfuscate, and manipulate malware, to make it harder to detect by security programs. This helps it to evade detection.

cryptex big

An advertisement for Cryptex listing many of its features.

Esteves also operated a website known as reFUD.me which ran a counter anti-virus service. This service enables people to check files for malware detection and find out which programs can detect it.

"Such services allow users to upload a sample they want scanned, and the sample will then be tested for detection against 30-40 of the best-known AV companies’ products," according to Trend Micro.

Neither tool is malware in and of itself, but both are used by cyber crooks.

Screenshot: courtesy Trend Micro

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.