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Carnegie Mellon University Student Charged with Selling Malware on Darkode

Morgan Culbertson (Linkedin photo)

Morgan Culbertson (Linkedin photo)

By Mike Wereschagin and Andrew Conte
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
 
A fresh-faced college student who once designed a mobile app to bring Pittsburghers together slipped from his prestigious Carnegie Mellon University classrooms into the shadows of the Web, where he sold a program that put thieves inside people’s pockets, federal authorities said Wednesday.

Morgan Culbertson, 20, a CMU student and intern at a Silicon Valley cybersecurity firm, designed a program called “Dendroid” that allowed users to take over someone’s Android phone, snoop through text messages and snap photos without the phone owner’s knowing, said David Hickton, U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania.

“He went online by a screen name known as ‘Android,’ and for $300 you could buy his subscription where you could steal basically all aspects of (someone’s) cellphone,” Hickton said. “…You also could, as advertised, buy this code so you could do it yourself for $65,000. This was brazenly and openly advertised.”

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