Security firm intern accused of creating Dendroid malware

Victor Barreiro Jr.
Security firm intern accused of creating Dendroid malware
The Dendroid malware can be used to remotely take pictures using the phone camera, record audio and video, listen in on calls and texts, and steal data

MANILA, Philippines – The US Department of Justice announced Wednesday, July 15, that it had shut down Darkode, an English-speaking cybercrime forum.

Along with its shutdown comes word that one of the alleged users of the forum had an internship with Internet security firm FireEye while selling malware on hacker forums.

One of the 12 people charged in the Darkode shutdown was 20-year-old Morgan Culbertson, an intern who worked as a mobile malware researcher for FireEye.

Culbertson is accused of creating and selling the Dendroid malware, which targets Android operating systems.

Forbes explained that Dendroid, when it was uncovered by security firms, “was able to take pictures using the phone’s camera, record audio and video, listen in on calls and texts, and nab the victim’s photos or other data.”

The toolkit sold for $300 in Bitcoin, while the source code was going for $65,000.

If Culbertson is the person behind Dendroid, it looks likely that he improved upon Dendroid using knowledge gained from working at FireEye.

FireEye has suspended Culbertson from future work at their company following the DOJ accusations. – Rappler.com

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.