Webcam Hijackers Busted

May 20, 2014

Authorities in 16 countries take action against users of the imfamous BlackShades malware tool.

Police around the world have begun a crackdown on users of of the imfamous BlackShades malware tool, which is thought to infect over half a million computers in 100 countries. 97 people in 16 countries were arrested in near-simultaneous fashion to prevent tip-offs through the shadowy network of the hacker underground.
BlackShades has several powerful features. The tool lets the attacker encrypt and lock files, forcing the victim to pay a ransom, and it also has the ability to intercept keystrokes, which helps the attacker discover passwords and study the online behavior of the victim. Perhaps the best known features of the BlackShades Remote Access Tool ( or "RAT") is its ability to highjack the victim's webcam. Widespread reports highlight the problem of attackers using BlackShades to capture videos and still pictures of victims in their bedroom. The California teen who was convicted of video recording the future Miss Teen USA and several other young women undressing in their bedrooms reportedly had BlackShades on his computer.
Several news sources say Blackshades co-developer, American Michael Hogue, was arrested in 2012 and is cooperating with law enforcement officers. Reports also state that BlackShades owner Alex Yucel was arrested in Moldova last year.

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