FBI Launches Global Cyber Op on 'BlackShades' Malware
The FBI has launched its largest global cyber operation, with law enforcement launching raids in 19 countries. Today on The Real Story, Fox News’ Eric Shawn reported that the Remote Access Tool (RAT) was originally sold by the organization called BlackShades. The malicious software allows users to hijack computers remotely, even turning on computer webcams and copying keystrokes.
The RAT costs only $40 dollars and has been used for everything from extortion to bank fraud. So far, 97 people have been arrested in an operation that’s over two years in the making.
Four men are among those charged in the United States, including accused creators at BlackShades.
U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said, “The BlackShades RAT enabled its users to intrude on the victims’ privacy in the most sinister way. They could activate the computers’ webcams to spy on and record them in the privacy of their own homes.”
In what prosecutors are calling a ransom note, the following warning from BlackShades popped up on computer screens: “Warning! Please take your time to read the following text for your own best. Your computer has basically been hijacked … and can only be decryped (sic)/restored by us.”
Last year, we told you about Miss Teen USA, Cassidy Wolf, whose computer was hacked with this technology. Wolf, then 19 years old, said that she received an anonymous email in which the sender claimed to have nude images of her captured from her webcam. The hacker threatened to post the photos online unless Wolf gave more photos.
The suspect turned out to be 20-year-old Jared James Abrahams, who attended the same high school as Wolf. He pled guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.