The United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) successfully closed down a spy website. This website, Imminent Methods provides spying tools and has been under investigation. Both the NCA and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) worked together to bring down the criminal operation. Although, it was the AFP that started the investigation internationally.
Since the borders of the operation spread into English territory, the UK’s crime authority stepped up. A report says that 14,500 people have bought tools from the sneaky website. During the course of the investigation, they had to search about 80 properties in nine places. These places include Hull, Leeds, London, Manchester, Merseyside, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Somerset, and Surrey.
The people implicated in the crime bought a device called the Imminent Monitor Remote Access Trojan (Imrat) which goes for approximately $25 (£19). It allows full access to an infected device. Then the hackers can steal data, monitor what the victim is doing and even use their webcam. A violation of people’s privacy.
Authorities in the UK say that after successfully closed down the website, the devices stopped working. They also mentioned that 14 people have been arrested. Further, as they currently have access to the website, they can track down others who have bought the spying tools and bring them to justice. This will also assist in finding out more about how the website and its like operate.
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Phil Larratt who works with the NCA said the tools had been used to commit serious crimes like “fraud, theft and voyeurism”.
Prof Woodward also said to the BBC in a report:
“Organised crime gangs, as well as more petty criminals, are switching their attention to cyber-crime rather than, say, drugs, because it is perceived there will be a significant return on their investment and much lower risk,”
He also said they give their clients access to the infrastructure to power their malware, including something known as ‘bulletproof hosting’.
He added: “they set themselves up in jurisdictions and in such a technical manner that they think they are untouchable by law enforcement agencies in the countries where their clients conduct their crimes.”
“All of the above is called crime as a service, and has been a significant trend in recent years.”
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