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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Australian Police Help United States Catch Hackers

The Australian Federal Police (aka AFP) was noticed helping the Federal Bureau of Investigation catch hackers. The FBI admitted that Australians are currently being targeted in a global raid on people who use software named Blackshades Remote Access Tool (RAT).


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The FBI confirmed that the malware in question had been sold and distributed to thousands of people in more than a hundred countries. According to their estimates, it has been used to infect over half a million computers all over the world. It is known that the program has already been used by attackers to steal personal information and carry out cyber attacks.

It should be noted that the Blackshades RAT software was uncovered during a previous international investigation dubbed Operation Cardshop. The latter targeted “carding” crimes and offences where the worldwide web was used to traffic and exploit compromised credit cards and bank accounts. The most obvious signs that you have been infected are that a cursor moves erratically without any input from you, a web camera light suddenly turns on, or monitor turns off while in use.

If this does happen to you, it can mean that your usernames and passwords for online accounts have been compromised. In result, there can be unauthorized logins to your bank accounts or unauthorized money transfers from them. Sometimes you can also notice a text-based chat window that suddenly appears on your desktop.

The co-developers of the malware have already been identified; their names are Michael Hogue and Alex Yucel. The latter is also the head of the company that sold the Blackshades. He has been arrested in Moldova and is currently awaiting extradition to the United States.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the malware performs unwanted actions on computer systems – for example, hack into your social media accounts, record the keystrokes, access documents and pictures stored on your PC and activate your webcam. Australian law enforcement authorities have confirmed that they are assisting the US with the investigation, but refused to reveal the extent of its involvement for operational reasons. Anyway, it is known that the Aussie cops have provided significant help to their American fellows.

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