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Image credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew

'Blackshades' webcam malware co-creator gets probation

Michael Hogue's cooperation is getting him a light sentence.
AP Photo/Richard Drew

The head of the 'Blackshades' hacking ring might be doing hard time, but one of his former partners won't be facing so bleak a future. A judge has sentenced malware co-creator Michael Hogue to 5 years' probation, a forfeiture of $40,000 and 500 hours of community service in return for pleading guilty to hacking and malware distribution charges back in 2013. The Remote Access Tool he helped write was heinous (it allowed webcam spying and ransom hijacking), the judge said. However, Hogue also cooperated with prosecutors and otherwise "did what he could" to set things right after he was caught -- the court just wasn't going to throw the book at him. While that might not be much consolation to the tool's 1 million victims, it should help close a particularly dark chapter of internet history.

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