Home Security 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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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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