A veteran Scottish virus writer faces a likely spell behind bars after pleading guilty to computer crime offences.
Matthew Anderson aka Warpigs, 33, a franchise manager from Drummuir, Aberdeenshire, admitted his key role in a malware for profit scam at a hearing at Southwark Crown Court on Friday.
Anderson distributed spam messages containing virus-infected attachments created by his fellow cybercrooks from the group "m00p". If successfully planted, the malware allowed Anderson and his cohorts to spy on victims, who would normally have been unaware that anything was amiss.
An investigation into the scam, led by officers from Scotland Yard's MPS Police Central e-Crime Unit together with the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation (NBI Finland) and the Finnish Pori Police Department, led to the arrest of three men on 27 June 2006 in Suffolk, Scotland and Finland.
DC Bob Burls, from the Police Central e-Crime Unit, said: "This organised online criminal network infected huge numbers of computers around the world, especially targeting UK businesses and individuals.
"Matthew Anderson methodically exploited computer users not only for his own financial gain but also violating their privacy. They used sophisticated computer code to commit their crimes."
Anderson used the profile names of aobuluz and warpigs online, shamelessly operating computer security software called Optom Security as a front for his cybercrime activities. He admitted offences contrary to section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (unauthorised modification of a compter ie hacking). Money laundering and acquiring criminal property charges were allowed to lie on file.
Anderson faces a sentencing hearing on 22 November.
Two other men were arrested as part of the same investigation. Artturi Alm pleaded guilty in Finland to computer hacking offences back in 2008, and received a custodial sentence (18 days) and a community service order. Charges were not pressed against a third suspect. ®