National Crime Agency
Cyber crook made thousands with testing site for hackers
A cyber criminal who ran a product-testing service for hackers has been sentenced to 24 months in prison.
Goncalo Esteves, 24, of Cape Close, Colchester, Essex, admitted guilt in January this year following a joint investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and cyber security firm Trend Micro.
Esteves (right) ran the website reFUD.me, which allowed offenders to test, for a fee, whether their malicious cyber tools could beat anti-virus scanners.Under the pseudonym KillaMuvz, he also sold custom-made malware-disguising products and offered technical support to users.
He was sentenced last week in relation to two computer misuse offences and a count of money laundering at Blackfriars Crown Court.
Esteves called his encryption tools Cryptex Reborn and Cryptex Lite. Part of a family of cyber tools known as crypters, they could be used by hackers to improve their chances of dodging anti-virus.
He sold them for use in packages which varied in price according to the length of the licence.
A month of Cryptex Lite cost $7.99 ( about £5) while a lifetime licence for Cryptex Reborn cost $90 (about £60). Esteves provided customer support via a dedicated Skype account and accepted payment either in conventional currency, in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin or in Amazon vouchers.
Esteves advertised his website on the hackforums.net website, a well-known messageboard for cyber criminals, under the description: “A free service that offers fast and reliable file scanning to ensure that your files remain fully undetectable to anti-malware software.”
NCA officers discovered that Esteves made £32,000 from more than 800 Paypal transactions between 2011 and 2015.
He is likely to have made far more, as this sum does not include payments Esteves accepted in Bitcoin and Amazon vouchers.
Mike Hulett, head of operations at the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, said:
“Esteves helped hackers to sharpen their knives before going after their victims.
“His clients were most likely preparing to target businesses and ordinary people with fraud and extortion attempts.
“He made a fair bit of money, but he’d probably have made much more, and certainly for longer, if he’d pursued a legitimate career in cyber security.
“We’re grateful to Trend Micro for their ongoing support in tackling cyber crime.”
Original article link: http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/1290-cyber-crook-made-thousands-with-testing-site-for-hackers
Latest News from
National Crime Agency
Most Wanted fugitive behind bars after international arrest05/06/2023 11:25:00
An organised crime boss who had been on the run since 2018 has begun an 11 year prison sentence after being extradited to the UK from Thailand.
Operation Venetic: Gang from Birmingham guilty of drugs supply and possessing deadly firearms02/06/2023 16:10:00
A National Crime Agency investigation has seen the conviction of three members of a Birmingham-based cocaine and heroin supply group which sourced lethal firearms to threaten rivals and customers
Operation Venetic: Final member of drugs gang jailed for role in industrial scale amphetamine factory in Scotland02/06/2023 15:10:00
The final member of an organised crime group that ran an amphetamine factory in Scotland and trafficked heroin and cocaine across the UK, was yesterday sentenced and given an 8.5 year prison sentence
NCA seize cannabis worth £6m in Northern Ireland30/05/2023 16:05:00
A lorry driver from Portadown has been arrested by National Crime Agency officers over a 300 kilo cannabis seizure at the port in Belfast.
Children's mental health worker who sexually groomed patients on Snapchat convicted26/05/2023 16:10:00
A mental healthcare assistant who groomed vulnerable underage patients at the clinic where he worked into sending sexualised images has been convicted.
Man charged with firearms offences after NCA investigation26/05/2023 12:15:00
A man from Rotherham has been arrested and charged with firearms offences after National Crime Agency officers tracked him down after almost two years on the run.
£38.8m worth of heroin recovered from cover load of pomegranate juice26/05/2023 11:15:00
National Crime Agency investigators have foiled a plot to smuggle heroin with a street value of £38.8m into the UK in bottles of pomegranate juice.