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Blackshades Malware Leads to Arrest of 100 Hackers by FBI

Theguardian.com reported on 19th May, 2014 that in a crackdown done by FBI on hackers associated to a "remote administration tool" known as BlackShades, over 100 people have been detained worldwide.

Law enforcement agencies raided at more than dozen countries in North America, Australia, Europe, and Asia; and according to National Crime Agency of UK, in Britain only 17 people have been arrested.

Charges are still not disclosed but US prosecutors are expected to announce some of these at a press conference very soon.

RAT or backdoor, like BlackShades and other similar software, allows attackers to remotely gain control of a personal computer and then switch on the webcam, embezzle passwords and personal data and launch additional attacks on other systems. The software itself is not illegal and it can be bought for $40 only, but installing it in a computer without user's knowledge is illegal in most countries.

Cnet.com published news on 19th May, 2014, where Preet Bharara, Manhattan US Attorney, says that the usage of RAT is simple and also it is not very expensive, but its capabilities are sophisticated and its invasiveness is magnificient. This scenario makes it apparent that we now reside in a world where a cyber crook can distribute RAT with only a click of a mouse to infect someone's computer and steal the privacy and most sensitive information by spending just $40.

FBI announced an indictment on Monday, 19th May, 2014 against two men named Alex Yucel, a Swedish national, and Michael Hogue, a US citizen, claiming that they are the developers of BlackShades. Besides them, three other people were also charge-sheeted and arrested by the agency on the pretext that they have either traded BlackShades or employed it on computers of naïve people. In between September 2010 to April 2014, BlackShades sales generated revenue amounting to more than $350,000 as per the FBI.

Softpedia.com published a report on 19th May, 2014 quoting Koen Hermans, Assistant to the National Member of Netherlands, as saying "This case is a strong reminder that no one is safe while using Internet and it should serve as a warning and deterrent to those who are involved in the manufacture and use of this software."

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