Huddleston’s Case was dependant on Intent
Huddleston’s attorney stressed on the fact that the suspect never had evil software intention, but just as a consequence of some family hardships.
Not only his case was defended by mentioning these family hardships, but also it was mentioned Net Seal, his main application, did not hold any malware intentions, but rather was used as a form of security against hacking. Despite its main intent, hackers used Net Seal in other programs to secure malware. As Net Seal became so successful, Huddleston marketed it on HackForums for some financial benefits without holding the malicious intent used by hackers.
After this move, Huddleston’s success would engender Nanocore RAT, a software that makes the hacker capable of having full control over any computer that has it. If he had sold it, then it would have been a very significant move in determining whether Huddleston is guilty or not. It was mentioned in the court that:
“Mr. Huddleston understands and accepts that he broke the law by marketing Net Seal and NanoCore on a website frequented by users who would likely use the programs for malicious purposes. […] Mr. Huddleston knows that he has no one to blame but himself, and is prepared to serve the sentence this Court finds appropriate. His actions before and after his arrest illustrate his sincere remorse and dedication to using his talents to benefit society and make amends for his illegal conduct.”
Although his team suggested that he shouldn’t be arrested for more than 6 months, the court decided that 33 months the best option.
Nanocore used in attacks targeting Businesses based in US, UK, and India
In the beginning of 2016, many attacks were commanded on some countries like US, UK, and India by Backdoor Breut and Trojan Nancrat controlled by RATs. The attackers were very basic since they used social engineering as a medium to spread their attack and ironically, they have caused a lot of damage since Nanocore was capable of multi-tasking.
Nanocore was special among other RATs since it was a Maas and easy in usage. That is why beginner hackers liked to use it more than other RATs. Moreover, Nanocore had many plugin features that attracted amateur hackers to use. So for just $25, a hacker is able to cause a lot of damage to international businesses.
Moral and Legal Questions
As a hotly debated dilemma of whether a malicious application creator, not user, should be accused of being guilty is a bit confusing, a lot of questions rise on the same scope that are tough to answer. The court inspected the intentions of the creator and whether he knows that the application could be used by hackers or not, and in the case of Huddleston, he was accused of being guilty.