Jailed hacker motivated by “feeling of power”

A 33-year old man in Scotland has been jailed for 18 months for developing and distributing malware to invade the privacy of as many as 200,000 victims.  

Matthew Anderson, who also ran an IT security consultancy, commissioned a Finnish programmer to write a Trojan that could remotely access and control infected PCs.     

The Trojan, which was distributed through spam emails, allowed Anderson to steal private documents and in some cases to spy on their victims through their webcams, as well as connecting PCs to a botnet.

Operating between September 2005 and June 2006, Anderson did not attempt to extort or steal money from his victims, although he did sell contact details to a businessman who was not charged. The Finnish programmer served 18 days in jail in 2008.

Anderson was motivated by the “sense of power” he derived from his actions, a court in London heard. “Your motivation throughout was the pleasure and satisfaction you derived from achieving such a massive invasion into the personal lives of so many others and also the sense of power that gave you,” the presiding judge told Anderson in his summation.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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