After months of investigation, law enforcement officials in the U.S., Europe and Asia are cracking down on a hacking network employing a computer program known as “Blackshades,” which can be used as malware to control the computers of unwitting people
The searches are part of a coordinated crackdown on an international ring of suspected criminal hackers, according to the people familiar with the probe. Federal prosecutors in New York plan to announce the results of the raids as soon as Monday, said those familiar with the situation.
The raids took place in more than a dozen countries, and involved the arrest of dozens of suspects, according to the officials. Several U.S.-based suspects charged in the investigation were still being sought, the sources said.
The people familiar with the case said hackers sold the Blackshades software from a website—called bshades.eu—that was part of an underground hacking marketplace in which people write programs for others to buy. The website, which has been taken offline, and the maker of the Blackshares software couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
The Blackshades malware is capable of collecting personal information which can be used by cybercriminals to initiate a devastating hack on the victim.
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