Opelousas man sentenced to a year in prison for role in major computer hacking forum
LAFAYETTE – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that an Opelousas man was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison for using a computer to steal money, hacking computers to obtain passwords, and attempting to sell information on the online hacking forum known as “Darkode.”
Rory Stephen Guidry, 29, aka email@example.com, of Opelousas, La., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell on one count of obtaining information by computer from a protected computer. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release. According to the February 5, 2016 guilty plea, in July of 2014 while living in Liberty Hill, Texas, Guidry participated in an online hacking attack on a server in Austin, Texas. He moved to his grandparents’ home in Opelousas in March of 2015 after an investigation ensued as a result of the server attack. While in Opelousas, he continued to use his skills to hack into personal computers and controlled them with malware and a botnet. Guidry attempted to hack into and control more than 5,000 computers, and he attempted to sell the botnet to another hacker on Darkode. Guidry also used his hacking skills and conspired with another individual to steal more than $80,000 in bitcoin. He received half, $40,000, of the bitcoin and converted some of it to money, which he spent. Guidry also admitted to hacking another computer to take more than 5,000 active credit card accounts. He was in possession of the credit card numbers and personal identifiers when he was arrested by the FBI.
In July of 2015, the Department of Justice and other agencies dismantled Darkode. Criminal charges were filed in the Western District of Louisiana, the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere against 12 individuals associated with the forum. As alleged in the charging documents, Darkode was an online, password-protected forum in which hackers and other cyber-criminals convened to buy, sell, trade and share information, ideas, and tools to facilitate unlawful and unauthorized intrusions on computers and electronic devices. Before becoming a member of Darkode, prospective members were allegedly vetted through a process in which an existing member invited a prospective member to the forum for the purpose of presenting the skills or products that he or she could bring to the group. Darkode members used each other’s skills and products to infect computers and electronic devices of victims around the world with malware. They would then gain access to, and control over, those devices.
The takedown of the forum and the charges were announced on July 15, 2015 as a result of the FBI’s infiltration of the Darkode’s membership. Twenty nations participated in the coordinated effort of law enforcement to charge, arrest or search 70 Darkode members and associates around the world.
“Cybercrime threatens anyone and everyone in our ever-increasingly internet-connected world,” Finley stated. “Computer criminals will not be able to hide or maintain their anonymity, and they will be prosecuted locally, nationally and internationally. Through coordinated responses and international cooperation of our law enforcement partners, defendants such as Mr. Guidry who are involved in computer hacking forums will see their organizations dismantled and individuals prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
This investigation, Operation Shrouded Horizon, is being conducted by the FBI with assistance from Europol and their European Cyber Crime Center (EC3). This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys James T. Kitchen and Charles A. Eberle of the Western District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorneys Gavin A. Corn, Marie-Flore Johnson and Harold Chun of CCIPS, Assistant U.S. Attorney Erica O’Neil of the Eastern District of Wisconsin and Assistant U.S. Attorney Myers Namie of the Western District of Louisiana. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs also provided significant assistance.