UK: Man pleads guilty to spam and computer viruses

A Scottish man pleaded guilty today (Friday 22 October) to Computer Misuse charges in connection with an international operation.

The joint investigation by Metropolitan Police and the Finnish authorities began in 2006 into an organized group carrying out a sophisticated e-crime by writing new computer viruses that could by-pass anti-virus products.

Tens of thousands of computers worldwide were infected by the virus that had primarily been targeting UK businesses since 2005.

The international group called the m00p group (M – zero – zero – P) conspired to infect computers by attaching viruses to spam e-mails. The leader of the organization Matthew Anderson distributed millions of spam messages.

The joint collaboration of the MPS Police Central e-Crime Unit together with the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation (NBI Finland) and the Finnish Pori Police Department lead to the arrest of three men on the 27 June 2006 in Suffolk, Scotland and Finland.

In his role of chief organizer of the gang, Matthew Anderson, 33 years (DOB 17.10.77), from Drummuir, Aberdeenshire composed and distributing the emails with the virus attachments. This allowed Anderson to access private and commercial data stored on the computers without the knowledge of the computer’s owner. Anderson was able to activate their webcams, effectively spying on them in their home. Police found screen grabs on Anderson’s computers taken from other people’s webcams as well as copies of private documents such as wills, medical reports, CVs, password lists and private photographs.

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