back to article Essex black hat behind Cryptex and reFUD gets two years behind bars

A 24-year-old Essex man behind the reFUD.me antivirus evasion site, who made an estimated half a million pounds from Bitcoin, has been jailed for two years. Goncalo Esteves, of Cape Close, Colchester, England, admitted two computer misuse offences and one charge of money laundering in January. He was sentenced today at …

  1. emmanuel goldstein

    Is bitcoin crashing? The owner of this address:

    3Cbq7aT1tY8kMxWLbitaG7yT6bPbKChq64

    begs to differ!

  2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

    proce crash?

    "his Bitcoin holdings were worth £500,000. Thanks to the recent crash in price, it was thought to be worth just £15,700"

    Unless there's a typo here somewhere, the drop in price (roughly half from peak) can't explain that. Transferring 90% of the contents would tho.

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    Why the sobs?

    A white collar crime with a two year sentence is probably going to mean an open prison where he will meet dodgy doctors, dentists, accountants and other low risk inmates,he will most likely have sports facilities (I worked at Channings Wood in Devon in the '70s , it had a tennis court and bakery that supplied local shops) and days out. The people he will meet will be able to round off his education so that when he leaves he will be able to add a lot of other white collar skills to his dodgy resume.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blighty is the place...

    ...to commit digital crimes as you only get a slap on the wrist if any punishment at all.

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Blighty is the place...

      I wonder however how many of the things he was doing were actually illegal. If software has a legitimate purpose it is legal to sell (unless specifically banned) even if 99% of customers are going to use it to commit a crime. It is not illegal to sell a car to a person who uses it to commit a ram-raid. I'm not even certain that the salesman would commit a crime even if he was pretty certain that that is how the car was going to be used.

      1. Pier Reviewer

        Re: Blighty is the place...

        https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/section/3A

        Thanks to the wording of the CMA 1990 being wider than Marlon Brando during national pizza week it is a criminal offence to possess or supply tools that may reasonably be believed to be used to commit an offence under the equally widely defined sections 1-3.

        So yeah, he was always likely to lose that case. He doesn’t appear to be the most beneficial guy to society, but given that selling knives to 16 year olds gets you a maximum of 6 months in clink, 2 years for selling SaaS seems a little odd. Ofc knife crime tends to disproportionately affect poorer people, whereas tech crime is more likely to affect white guys with money.

        I’m not saying I feel sorry for the guy, but he picked the wrong potential victims. Should have targeted foreigners/women/the poor/etc if he didn’t want to get a birching :/

        PS - who’s got a Kali install?... get your excuses/defence ready

  5. David Roberts Silver badge
    WTF?

    Much of what was reported seems strange.

    Running a test bed for viruses and anti-virus packages (presumably just firewalling the reporting channels) doesn't seem to fall into a major crime area. Nor does encryption technology (at the moment).

    If it was clearly marketted as a service to develop viruses and conceal them then it makes it look dodgy, but apart from that you are close to making running your own development server with crypto capability illegal. Is it illegal to test if code triggers an anti-virus package? Or is this all based on intent?

    It reads as though the headline is there to boost law and order's news profile and pretend they busted a mega criminal instead of someone playing a minor role.

    The false claims for refunds seems one of the dodgiest bits.

    Bitcoin is largely irrelevant apart from providing an eye catching figure. Which no longer applies.

    Look! We caught a crim with half a million in Bitcoin (at last year's value). Doesn't even say the Bitcoin was illegally obtained.

    1. sloshnmosh

      Re: Much of what was reported seems strange.

      I was thinking the same thing..

      Metasploit has several AV evasion programs and Github has code to create signed certs to evade AV.

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Much of what was reported seems strange.

        If you can find something on GitHub or other similar service, that doesn't mean it's legal. Apple presumably is still trying to get copies of some of its operating system software removed from there.

  6. HmmmYes Silver badge

    Surely the Mr Big facilitating all this malware is the Microsoft CEO?

  7. This post has been deleted by a moderator

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