Saturday January 14, 2017

Student Hacker Faces 10 Years In Prison For Spyware That Hit 16,000 Computers

Is 10 years excessive for writing and selling a keylogger? We’ll have to see what the judge thinks. The hacker, an ex-Northrop Grumman intern, sold his work for $35 to 3,000 buyers, who infected 16,000 people with it.

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A 21-year-old from Virginia plead guilty on Friday to writing and selling custom spyware designed to monitor a victim’s keystrokes. Zachary Shames, from Great Falls, Virginia, wrote a keylogger, malware designed to record every keystroke on a computer, and sold it to more than 3,000 people who infected more than 16,000 victims with it, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Shames, who appears to be a student at James Madison University, developed the first version of the spyware while he was still a high school student in 2013, "and continued to modify and market the illegal product from his college dorm room," according to the feds.