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07 Oct 2005

British malware authors jailed for conspiracy to infect PCs around the world, Sophos reports

Thr34t-Krew gang receive six and three month jail sentences

Typing on keyboard
The Thr34t-Krew used malware to take remote control of other users' computers

Andrew Harvey and Jordan Bradley, the British members of the "Thr34t-Krew" hacking gang who spread malicious code around the world, have been sentenced to jail at Newcastle Crown Court. The men have been sent to jail for six months and three months respectively.

Harvey, 24, and Bradley, 22, admitted conspiracy to cause unauthorized modification of computers with intent, between 31 December 2001 and 7 February 2003. The men designed the TKBot-A Trojan horse to control internet-connected computers belonging to innocent third parties.

Once under the hackers' control infected PCs could be sent commands by the gang, ranging from scanning other computers for vulnerabilities to launching distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against websites.

"More and more malware is designed to allow remote hackers to take control of your computer without your knowledge," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "The crimes committed by these men are serious, and we can only be grateful that more serious damage was not done. A strong message needs to go out to those who write viruses, worms and Trojan horses that their behavior is unacceptable and, if caught, they will be punished."

Judge Beatrice Bolton told the pair at Newcastle Crown Court that a prison sentence had to be imposed in order to serve as a warning to the public.

In May, an American member of the gang was sentenced to 21 months in jail for his involvement in the case. It was reported then that the malware had broken into computer at the Department of Defense.

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.