Blackshades malware co-author sentenced to five years probation

An Arizona man, known online as "xVisceral," was charged with co-creating Blackshades software.
An Arizona man, known online as "xVisceral," was charged with co-creating Blackshades software.

Following a guilty plea in 2013 for distributing malware and conspiring to commit computer hacking, Michael Hogue, 25, was sentenced to five years probation in a Manhattan court on Friday, according to Gadgets360.

The Arizona man, aka "xVisceral," was charged with co-creating software, disseminated by Blackshades, that was used to hack into a million computers all over the globe via the "Blackshades Remote Access Tool." Sold for around $40, the remote access trojan enabled hackers to gain remote control of computers and record keystrokes and siphon passwords and personal files. It could also freeze computers unless a ransom was paid. Blackshades earned $350,000 in software sales, prosecutors said.

Hogue is required to forfeit $40,000, volunteer 500 hours of community service and comply with prosecutors in related investigations.

He was apprehended in 2012 as part of an international sting operation that netted 100 people, including Blackshades founder Alex Yucel, who received a 4¾-year prison sentence in June.

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