A Remote Access Trojan (RAT) developer from the US has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for creating and selling a RAT known as LuminosityLink. A RAT is a programme, which once installed on a victim’s machine, allows remote administrative control. In a malicious context it can, among many other functions, be used to install backdoors and key loggers, take screenshots, and exfiltrate data.
According to the US Department of Justice more than 6,000 customer had purchased this trojan, and its use in criminal or espionage activity has been widely documented.
The NCSC has previously highlighted the threat from publicly available hacking tools available for sale online, including commercial software packages which could potentially be used for malicious purposes. Although some of these are legitimate penetration testing or administration tools, many are being used by hackers to facilitate malicious activity.
The availability of these hacking tools provides threat actors of varying capabilities the opportunity to compromise information and establish persistence on a target network. Their relatively wide uptake and use make defending networks and attributing incidents more challenging.
Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.