The defendant, John Schiefer, admitted last Friday to have used the machines under his control to illegally install malware and stealing online banking identities. He pleaded guilty to four charges: accessing protected computers to conduct fraud, disclosing illegally intercepted electronic communications, wire fraud and bank fraud.

Schiefer is now a former employee of security firm 3G Communications.

According to the investigators, the LA man had several accomplices, at present time only known by their Internet aliases: "revolt," "Harr0," "butthead," "pr1me" and "dynamic". However, chances are that Schiefer will be more than happy to collaborate with the investigators and he won’t be the only one to face trial in this case.

The hackers’ main aim were PayPal username and passwords, which the malware the group developed managed to read in spite of the fact that such information was encrypted before being stored. It is believed that Schiefer’s software escalated its Windows privileges in order to be able to read it.