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100 Arrested In BlackShades Malware Crackdown

100 Arrested In BlackShades Malware CrackdownLaw enforcement officials arrested 100 hackers from 16 countries on accusations of creating, selling and using the Blackshades (RAT) ransomware to gain control over people’s computers for extortion and to carry out distributed denial-of-service cyber-attacks, according to an FBI news release.

Blackshades or RAT (Remote Access Tool), allows people to spy on a victim’s computer, to enable webcams, and steal passwords and personal information. RAT also includes “spreader tools” meant to send malicious links to the victim’s contacts through social networking services, to install RAT on more devices.

Police arrested Alex Yücel, the accused owner and co-creator of Blackshades, as well as others allegedly involved in advertising the software on hacking forums. In addition to identity theft charges, Yücel is facing access device fraud charges, which carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Starting in 2010, BlackShades has been sold in more than 100 countries and infected more than half a million computers, according to the FBI. Copies of the software were easily accessible for around $40 and required no technical expertise.

“Blackshades’ flagship product was a sophisticated program known as the remote access tool, or RAT for short. The RAT is inexpensive and simple to use, but its capabilities are sophisticated and its invasiveness breathtaking,” said Preet Bharara, Manhattan U.S. Attorney.

The arrests are part of a massive global BlackShades takedown operation involving the participation of 19 countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, UK, Finland, Austria, Estonia, Denmark, US, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Italy, Moldova, and Switzerland.

About the author

Alexandra GHEORGHE

Alexandra started writing about IT at the dawn of the decade - when an iPad was an eye-injury patch, we were minus Google+ and we all had Jobs. She has since wielded her background in PR and marketing communications to translate binary code to colorful stories that have been known to wear out readers' mouse scrolls. Alexandra is also a social media enthusiast who 'likes' only what she likes and LOLs only when she laughs out loud.

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  • “infect computers throughout the world to spy on victims through their web cameras, steal files and account information, and log victims’ key strokes.”
    Does it need an access to the computers? Like micro keylogger?