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Thursday, 18 October 2018 09:21

Luminosity Link trojan author gets 30 months in jail

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Luminosity Link trojan author gets 30 months in jail Pixabay

The man who developed and sold a Windows remote access trojan known as Luminosity Link has been sentenced to 30 months in prison in the US and will also have to forfeit the proceeds he reaped from selling the software.

Colton Grubbs, 21, of Stanford, Kentucky, was sentenced for "conspiracy to unlawfully access computers in furtherance of a criminal act, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and the illegal removal of property to prevent its lawful seizure", according to a statement from the US Department of Justice on Monday.

The software was able to record keystrokes, spy on users through webcams and microphones, view and download files, and steal login credentials.

As iTWire reported, In February, Britain's National Crime Agency said it had acted in collaboration with security officials in Europe, the US and Australia, to take the software off the Web.

According to the US statement, Grubbs offered help to users through forums on the Internet. It said in his plea agreement, Grubbs admitted to selling the software for US$39.99 apiece to more than 6000 customers around the world.

The British NCA said at the time that law enforcement had acted to neuter the RAT in September last year. Luminosity Link was first found on the PC of a suspect in Bristol who was arrested in September 2016; his arrest was in connection with another investigation under the Computer Misuse Act.

“Our modern society is dependent on computers, mobile devices, and the use of the Internet,” said Robert Duncan, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

“People simply have to have confidence in their ability to use these modern instruments to transact their business, privately communicate, and securely maintain their information.

"It is essential that we vigorously prosecute those who erode that confidence and illicitly gain access to computer systems and the electronic information of others. Everyone benefits when this deceitful conduct is discovered, investigated, and prosecuted.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came 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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