The FBI and police in several countries have arrested more than 100 people and conducted hundreds of searches in a global crackdown on hackers linked to “Blackshades,” a malicious software program that is one of the most popular tools used by cyber criminals to hijack computers. The malware has been dubbed “creepware” by some; it can be used to remotely turn on webcams, access hard drives and capture keystrokes to steal passwords.
Last year, the software, which can sell for as little as $40, was used to spy on and extort Miss Teen USA winner Cassidy Wolf.
According to CNN, U.S. prosecutors expect to announce some of the results of the years-long investigation later today, but the FBI recently promised to make arrests and indictments to combat what it says are increasing criminal cyber intrusions. So far, 365 searches, 102 interviews and 101 arrests have been completed worldwide in this effort.
Get Security columnist Steve Chabinsky’s take on cyber crime consequences in his May column here: Stopping Cybersecurity Breaches Means Rethinking Consequences