We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Malware gang broken up

By British and Finnish police

A gang of malware writers has been broken up in a joint operation between police in the UK and Finland.

The UK’s Metropolitan Police Computer Crime Unit, and Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation arrested three men, including a 63-year-old man from Suffolk, 28-year-old Scottish man and a 19-year-old in Finland.

The three were suspected of being members of the 'M00P' virus-writing group although, according to senior technology consultant Graham Cluley of IT security firm Sophos, "it is not clear if they had written it by themselves".

The malware was designed to gain a backdoor entry into PCs, turning them into a zombie network of computers (or botnet) that they could remotely control, said Cluley.

"Zombie computers can be used by criminal hackers to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks, spread spam messages or to steal confidential information and commit identity theft," continued Cluley.

A Sophos analysis confirmed that there are many pieces of malware that make references to the M00P gang, including the W32/Dogbot spyware worm, Troj/Hackarmy-C, Troj/Santabot-A, Troj/Shuckbot-A, W32/Rbot-BF, and W32/Tibick-A.

Recently, media reports linked the group with versions of the Stinx Trojan Horse, which was sent in an email claiming to contain evidence that Tony Blair and George Bush were conspiring to raise oil prices. Cluley added that versions of the same malware were spammed out to most British companies asking for a photo attachment.

"The police in the UK and Finland should be congratulated for investigating this computer crime ring and breaking up the gang before it can do any more harm to innocent web surfers and businesses," said Cluley.

"What is interesting is that there haven’t been many arrests in the past and M00P is a criminally organised and financially motivated gang," he added.

This story first appeared on Techworld.com

IDG UK Sites

Android M Developer Preview announced at Google I/O: Android M UK release date and new features. Wh?......

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Ben & Holly's Game of Thrones titles spoof is delightfully silly

IDG UK Sites

Mac OS X 10.11 release date rumours: all the new features expected in Yosemite successor