The LuminosityLink Remote Access Trojan (RAT) author, 21-year old Colton Ray Grubbs from Stanford, Kentucky, has been sentenced today to 30 months behind bars for computer intrusion crimes.
"Grubbs previously admitted to designing, marketing, and selling a software, called LuminosityLink, that Grubbs knew would be used by some customers to remotely access and control their victims’ computers without the victims’ knowledge or consent," says U.S. Attorney’s Office press release.
Moreover, Grubbs was found of three crimes: for conspiracy to commit money laundering, for conspiracy to unlawfully access computers in furtherance of a criminal act, as well as illegal removal of property to prevent its lawful seizure.
According to Robert M. Duncan, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Grubbs sold his LuminosityLink RAT to thousands of clients on the HackForums.net portal using the KFC Watermelon online handle.
Grubbs previously pleaded guilty in July 2018, admitting that he was the one who ran the luminosity.link website where he sold his RAT for $40 on average, as well as recruiting resellers for his malicious software and support staff.
The LuminosityLink author must at least 85% of his sentence and will go under probation for a term of three years afterward
LuminosityLink's author was apprehended by the US authorities after one of his resellers who was arrested in the UK by the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) provided information on his whereabouts and lead to the dismantling of his entire network of RAT resellers.
Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 investigated the LuminosityLink RAT and its features and published a detailed report in July 2016, classifying it as a keylogger and backdoor even though its sellers were marketing it as a system admin tool.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) press release also states that, "Among other malicious features, LuminosityLink allowed Grubbs’ customers to record the keys that victims pressed on their keyboards, surveil victims using their computers’ cameras and microphones, view and download the computers’ files, and steal names and passwords used to access websites."
During his plea, Grubbs admitted to selling his $39.99 priced LuminosityLink RAT to more than 6,000, located all around the world. The FBI seized all the funds he gained by selling his RAT, including 114 Bitcoins with a market value of $725,000.