Law enforcement agencies from around the world collaborated in an operation targeting criminal users of the remote access tool (RAT) known as Blackshades, which can log keystrokes and allow attackers the ability to access data on victims’ systems.
“During two days of operations taking place in 16 countries worldwide, coordinated by Eurojust in The Hague and supported by the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol, creators, sellers and users of BlackShades malware were targeted by judicial and law enforcement authorities,” a Europol statement said.
“During both action days, 359 house searches were carried out worldwide, and more than 80 people were arrested. Over 1100 data storage devices suspected of being used in illegal activities were seized, including computers, laptops, mobile telephones, routers, external hard drives and USB memory sticks. Substantial quantities of cash, illegal firearms and drugs were also seized.”
Nations that participated in the joint-operation include the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, UK, Finland, Austria, Estonia, Denmark, USA, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Italy, Moldova and Switzerland.
“This case is a strong reminder that no one is safe while using the internet, and should serve as a warning and deterrent to those involved in the manufacture and use of this software. This applies not only to victims, but also to the perpetrators of criminal and malicious acts,” said the Netherlands’ Koen Hermans. “The number of countries involved in this operation has shown the inherent value in Eurojust’s coordination meetings and coordination centres.”
Representatives from law enforcement agencies of the participating nations held several coordination meetings at Eurojust prior to the actions, and Europol’s EC3 provided real-time analytical support during the coordinated effort as well as follow up in identifying victims and analyzing evidence.
“This case is yet another example of the critical need for coordinated law enforcement operations against the growing number of cyber criminals operating on an EU and global level. EC3 will continue – together with Eurojust and other partners – to work tirelessly to support our partners in the fight against fraudsters and other cyber criminals who take advantage of the Internet to commit crime,” said Troels Oerting, Head of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol.
“The work is far from over, but our cooperation to work together across borders has increased and we are dealing with cases on an ongoing basis.”
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