The two men, Andrew Harvey, 24, and Jordan Bradley, 22, are the founders of a hacker gang called "Threat Krew” and created a worm that infected almost 20,000 computers worldwide in the short span of two weeks using Internet chat channels to replicate itself through a network of “zombie” computers. Harvey and Bradley were then able to control those computers to launch denial of service attacks on corporate and government-based websites.
Harvey and Bradley were arrested in 2003 and admitted to conspiracy to spread the virus worldwide.
The two men had worked in alliance with an American hacker, Raymond Stegerwalt, who was later sentenced to 21 months in jail in the United States and fined $12,000 by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The investigation into Threat Krew was handled respectively by National Hi-Tech Crime Units in the United Kingdom and United States.
The case was heard in London’s Newcastle Crown Court.
"Over the past year, NHTCU has seen a sustained increase in the professionalism of cyber criminals,” Detective Superintendent Mick Deats, deputy head of the NHTCU, said. “Companies are taking the brunt of their attempts to steal money and data but consumers are also being hit. I hope that these sentences deliver a tough message."