Man Sentenced for Developing and Distributing Prolific Malware
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Arkansas man was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for aiding and abetting computer intrusions.
According to court documents, Taylor Huddleston, 27, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, developed, administered, marketed, and distributed two products that were extremely popular with cybercriminals around the world. The first is the “NanoCore RAT,” which is a type of malicious software, or “malware,” that is used to steal information from victim computers, including sensitive information such as passwords, emails, and instant messages. The NanoCore RAT even allowed users to surreptitiously activate the webcams of infected computers in order to spy on the victims. Huddleston’s NanoCore RAT was used to infect and attempt to infect over 100,000 computers. Huddleston’s other product, “Net Seal,” was a licensing software that he and his customers (co-conspirators) used to distribute malware for a fee. For instance, Huddleston used Net Seal to assist Zachary Shames in the distribution of malware to 3,000 people that was in turn used it to infect 16,000 computers. In his guilty plea, Huddleston admitted that he intended his products to be used maliciously.
Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer and Senior Counsel Ryan K. Dickey and Trial Attorney C. Alden Pelker of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-cr-289.