United States v. Michael Hogue, 13 Cr. 12 (PKC)
United States v. Brendan Johnston, 14 Mag. 1086
United States v. Kyle Fedorek, 14 Mag. 1064
United States v. Marlen Rappa, 14 Mag. 1065
On May 19, 2014, the United States Attorney’s Office announced charges against four U.S. nationals and one Swedish national in connection with the creation, distribution and use of a form of malware known as the “Blackshades” remote access tool (or RAT). The Blackshades RAT enabled users to remotely gain control of a victim’s computer. Users of the RAT could, for example, access and steal files, passwords and other account information stored on victims’ computers, lock files on the victims’ computers and demand a “ransom” payment to unlock them, and even activate web cameras to spy on their victims. The Blackshades RAT has infected more than 500,000 computers worldwide.
In addition to the five defendants charged in the Southern District of New York, more than 90 people have been arrested worldwide, in a coordinated operation involving law enforcement authorities in more than a dozen other countries.
Information regarding how you can determine whether your computer is infected is available at:
Anyone who performs the checks described in the above webpage and gets positive results is encouraged to submit a complaint to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Please include the term “Blackshades” in the incident description section of the complaint.
Updates regarding the progress of this case will be posted on this site.
Federal crime victims* have the following rights, as set forth in the Justice for All Act of 2004, 18 U.S.C. §3771:
- The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
- The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
- The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
- The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
- The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
- The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
- The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
- The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.
*Under the statute, "the term ‘crime victim' means a person directly and proximately harmed as a result of the commission of a Federal offense or an offense in the District of Columbia. In the case of a crime victim who is under 18 years of age, incompetent, incapacitated, or deceased, the legal guardians of the crime victim or the representatives of the crime victim's estate, family members, or any other persons appointed as suitable by the court, may assume the crime victim's rights under this chapter, but in no event shall the defendant be named as such guardian or representative.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York is committed to protecting the rights of crime victims. If you are a victim of an offense being prosecuted by our Office, our Victim/Witness Unit can make sure that you are notified of important stages of the case to help you exercise your rights. In addition, our Victim/Witness Unit can help refer you to agencies that provide other services to witnesses, such as compensation and counseling. For information or assistance with referrals, please contact:
Wendy Olsen Clancy
United States Attorney's Office
One St. Andrew's Plaza
New York, New York 10007