NEW YORK – The Swedish owner of a business that sold sophisticated malware that prosecutors say corrupted more than half a million computers in 100 countries was sentenced on Tuesday to nearly five years in prison.
U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel ordered 25-year-old Alex Yucel to serve four years and nine months in prison. Yucel, the owner of the malicious software Blackshades, pleaded guilty in February to computer hacking. He also was ordered to forfeit $200,000.
Prosecutors said Yucel sold and distributed malware to cybercriminals worldwide from 2010 to April 2014, generating sales of more than $350,000. Yucel, arrested in Moldova in November 2013, became the first defendant to be extradited from that country to the United States.
Prosecutors said buyers sometimes used the malware to hijack computers’ webcams and spy on their users.