Search Here

Custom Search

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

96 Hackers arrested over global scam

After an online business known as Blackshades sold thousands of cyber-criminals a malware called RAT (Remote Access Tools) which allows them to infect computers, steal data and demand ransom money, police across Europe and North America have arrested 96 people over the global scam,US officials said Monday. The malware was sold for as little as $40 The RAT program could also harass or frighten victims through messages that computers would read aloud, and in some cases it gave hackers access to webcams to spy inside private
homes. The FBI said Blackshades generated sales of $350,000 between September 2010 and April 2014 with more than 6,000 customer accounts in more than 100 countries. US Attorney Preet Bharara told reporters the international operation meant cybercriminals could no longer hide in one country and avoid international justice. From 2010 to 2014, Blackshades sold and distributed RAT infecting more than 500,000 computers, he said. “For just $40 the Blackshades RAT enabled anyone anywhere in the world to instantly become a dangerous cybercriminal able to steal your property and invade your privacy,” he said. Bharara said it was “alarmingly simple.” The malware could be bought easily on the Blackshades website and victims tricked into clicking on links. A “spreader” feature would then widen the infection to additional computers, the US attorney said. The malware could also be used to bring down websites and send out “ransom notes” to extort cash after telling a user they had lost control of their computer. “Warning! Your computer has been hacked and your private files encrypted and can only be decrypted by us,” reads one such note along with blank spaces for bank account details. Europe-wide police and justice bodies Europol and Eurojust said creators, sellers and users of Blackshades malware were targeted by judicial and law enforcement authorities in 16 different countries. Among the other countries involved in the operation were Belgium, Britain, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Moldova, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Over two days, police and the FBI raided 359 houses, arrested 97 people and seized “substantial quantities” of cash, illegal guns and drugs, as well as more than 1,000 data storage devices. In the Netherlands, an 18-year-old man infected at least 2,000 computers, controlling victims’ webcams to take pictures of women and girls, Eurojust said. French police last week raided around 50 properties as part of the investigation, detaining 26 people. Seven of them admitted possessing Blackshades for nefarious purposes, including hacking webcams or Facebook accounts, the public prosecutor said. Eight suspects said they used the malware to pirate online video games. New York authorities have charged two alleged creators of the software and two cybercriminals who allegedly used the software to steal and spy on victims. One of the alleged creators was arrested in Moldova and the US is seeking his extradition, Bharara said. The other has been cooperating with the government and pleaded guilty in January 2013, the attorney added. The charges in the United States carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail. US officials Monday advised members of the public to make sure their anti-virus software is up to date and to not open emails or advertisements from strangers. - CBS/FBI/USA Today

No comments:

Post a Comment

Kindly Drop your comments to know how you feel, Thanks