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16 Persons Arrested in European Crackdown over Use of Spyware Tools

ZDNet.com reported on 24th November, 2014 stating that the European crackdown has resulted in the arrest of sixteen individuals who were involved in the use of spyware across seven nations.

Europol announced recently that the arrests were made in France, Estonia, Latvia, Italy, Romania, Norway and the UK and they targeted criminals who were apparently using remote access tools or RATs for cybercrime.

Europol noted that RATs are functionally analogous to administration tools which are employed to give remote support in corporate backgrounds but the main difference with company tools is the permission granted by the end user to their system. PCs of victims normally get infected with RATs by unknowingly clicking on a maligned link purporting to be an image or a video.

Popular RATs like DarkComet and Blackshades pose a privacy and security hazard to victims with features which allow controller to stimulate the tainted PCs webcam remotely, rob banking details and enable the system to take part in denial-of-service attacks.

National Crime Agency (NCA) of UK announced on Friday, 21st November, 2014 the arrest of five people who were accused of using RATs and they brought in another suspect for questioning.

Wired.co.uk reported on 21st November, 2014 quoting Andy Archibald, Deputy Director of National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) as saying that the unauthorized use of Remote Access trojans is an important cybercrime hazard demanding this type of strong, coordinated reply from international to the level of UK.

"Regardless of any physical contact or communication with their victims, RATs are continuing to find that they can still be recognized, tracked and arrested by the NCA and its coordinators."

Nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk published on 21st November, 2014 quoting Peter Goodman, Deputy Chief Constable of East Midlands and ACPO Cyber Crime lead as saying "Cyber criminals are using very advanced technology to break online security systems and to conceal their digital tracks. However, police forces of UK and overseas all over the world are expert in identifying and disrupting those who are firm to access computers to steal data or to commit serious offences."

The NCA also requested public to be more alert and cautious and advised to not to click on links or open any attachments coming with unsolicited messages.

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