The maker of the LuminosityLink remote access Trojan (RAT) was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, the United States Department of Justice announced this week.
The man, Colton Grubbs, 21, of Stanford, Kentucky, admitted in court earlier this year to designing, marketing, and selling LuminosityLink, a piece of malware that could record keystrokes, access the camera and microphone for surveillance purposes, download files, and steal login credentials.
As part of his guilty plea, Grubbs also revealed that he was aware of the fact that some of his customers would use the software to remotely access and control computers without their owner’s knowledge or consent.
The RAT was being sold via the luminosity[.]link and luminosityvpn[.]com websites, but the malware author suspended sales via luminosity[.]link in July 2017, half a year before law enforcement agencies released the details of an operation specifically targeting LuminosityLink users.
Grubbs, who admitted to selling the malicious program for $39.99 apiece to more than 6,000 customers, also provided assistance on the use of the RAT for unauthorized computer intrusions. The Trojan was used to target victims throughout the United States and around the world.
Under federal law, Grubbs must serve 85% of his prison sentence. He will be released under supervision of the United States Probation Office for a term of three years.
Grubbs has also been ordered to forfeit the proceeds of his crimes, including 114 Bitcoin (valued at over $725,000 at the moment), which was seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“Our modern society is dependent on computers, mobile devices, and the use of the internet. It is essential that we vigorously prosecute those who erode that confidence and illicitly gain access to computer systems and the electronic information of others. Everyone benefits when this deceitful conduct is discovered, investigated, and prosecuted,” Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, said.