Arrests worldwide in FBI-led crackdown on 'snooping' cybercrime

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Arrests worldwide in FBI-led crackdown on 'snooping' cybercrime

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Are you being spied on? Has your personal information been seized?

They are questions all computer users can ask themselves with news that around 100 people in at least 16 countries have been arrested as part of an FBI-coordinated global crackdown on cybercrime.

It has targeted spying software called the Blackshades Remote Access Tool or RAT.

“For just 40 dollars, the Blackshades RAT enabled anyone, anywhere in the world, to instantly become a dangerous cybercriminal – able to steal your property and invade your privacy,” a news conference in New York was told by Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“Once installed on a victim’s computer, the Blackshades RAT allowed users to remotely and secretly gain access to everything on a victim’s computer, including private photographs and documents and even passwords to online accounts.”

Over half a million computers have been hacked. Blackshades even allows snoopers to activate webcams to spy on victims in their own homes.

Earlier this year, an 18-year-old man was detained in the Netherlands, accused of infecting 2,000 computers with the malware and using webcams to take pictures of women and girls.