Huffington Post

Huffington Post

The FBI and police in several countries have arrested more than 100 people and conducted hundreds of searches in recent days in a global crackdown on hackers linked to the malicious software called Blackshades, two law enforcement officials told CNN.

The years-long investigation is targeting one of the most popular tools used by cybercriminals to hijack computers around the world.

The malware sells for as little as $40. It can be used to hijack computers remotely and turn on webcams, access hard drives and capture keystrokes to steal passwords without the victim’s knowledge.
Criminals have used it for everything from extortion to bank fraud, the FBI says.

People familiar with the investigation say U.S. prosecutors were expected to announce some of the results of the law enforcement effort later Monday.

The FBI recently promised to make arrests and indictments to combat what it says are increasing criminal intrusions.

In one well-publicized extortion case last year, a hacker used Blackshades to spy on Cassidy Wolf, Miss Teen USA.
Hints of the crackdown emerged last week as Internet forums used by hackers lit up with reports from Blackshades users in Europe, Canada and the United States.

Word quickly spread that the FBI and police in several other countries were knocking on doors, seizing computers and questioning suspects.

The software is called a remote administration tool, or RAT, and isn’t necessarily illegal to own. Legitimate versions of similar software allow computer owners to access their computers remotely.

But the booming business in Blackshades malware is intended to commit cybercrime, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies say.

Authorities say the software is one of several kinds that hackers use to carry out a variety of Internet crimes that target victims across national borders, which makes it tough for law enforcement officials to pursue outside their jurisdiction. Increasingly, police in multiple countries are working together.

Source: CNN