A French hacker who developed mobile phone “apps” that were used to steal 500,000 euros has been handed a one year sentence.
He will serve six months in prison and six months with an electronic ankle tag.
Working from his parents home in Amiens, northern France, Dylan Caron developed a virus used to steal small amounts from at least 17,000 smartphones.
The applications carrying the virus were given away for free but once downloaded the virus sent text messages to a premium-rate number without the users’ knowledge.
There were also programs that allowed him to steal log-on codes for gaming and gambling websites to which the victims had subscribed.
The 20-year-old received an even harsher sentence than the 12 month suspended sentence the prosecution had requested but the charges of fraud and “breach of automated data” carry a maximum sentence of five years.
Dylan was apologetic in court and acknowledged the damage he had caused. He explained how it had taken just an hour to create the virus after getting the idea while watching a film one evening.
The young hacker has never studied computer science but says he has had a passion for computer programming since the age of nine.
Prosecutors described Dylan as extremely intelligent, but said he should use his talents for “useful and not malicious” purposes.