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Almost 100 Arrested In Worldwide Swoop On Blackshades Malware 87

Posted by samzenpus
from the shut-it-down dept.
MattSparkes (950531) writes "Law enforcement around the world has teamed-up to arrest 97 for buying/using Blackshades malware, which can remotely seize control of a victim's computer, access documents, record keystrokes and even activate their webcam to take surreptitious pictures and video. It is also able to encrypt files in order to extract a ransom for their release. Blackshades RAT is a commercial product costing less than $200 which was marketed as a tool to test network security. However, it is widely used by hackers and was even said by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to have been used against Syrian activists by the government in 2012."
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Almost 100 Arrested In Worldwide Swoop On Blackshades Malware

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  • by ganjadude (952775) on Monday May 19, 2014 @01:21PM (#47039521) Homepage
    to buy and sell a piece of software? what one does with it is obviously a different story, but I didnt think there was anything illegal against buying and selling a piece of software. In true /. fashion, I did not RTFA
    • I did read the article and was wondering the same thing.
      • If you read the article.. then could you point to the exact article that states that selling the software was illegal?

        All I'm reading is raids at people who used the software.

        Though I wouldn't blame them for going after the authors/sellers, given that it's got a template "we encrypted your files, send payment here for decryption key" letter included. That rather sways things well away from the "it's just a network security testing tool" suggestion.

        • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday May 19, 2014 @02:38PM (#47040159)

          During the course of a worldwide investigation, creators, sellers and users of BlackShades malware were targeted by judicial and law enforcement authorities in 16 different countries.

          http://www.eurojust.europa.eu/... [europa.eu]

          So they didn't go after people that bought it. They went after the people that wrote it, sold it or used it. If you bought it but didn't use it, they aren't going after you... yet. I suspect that what happened here was the authors put a backdoor into their backdoor software... which the users should have expected... lol. When they got raided, either law enforcement found it or they made a deal with the authors.

          • Ha, there it is - thanks for the follow-up!

          • I suspect that what happened here was the authors put a backdoor into their backdoor software...

            Yo dawg, I herd you like backdoors, so we put a backdoor in your backdoor so you can.... er, sod it, you can probably guess the rest yourselves. :-/

      • I did read the article and was wondering the same thing.

        The National Crime Agency (NCA) also said in a statement that it is aware of more people in the UK who bought the software but are yet to use it. It is working to warn them that "they are now known to the agency" and that "any movement into criminality will result in further action".

    • to buy and sell a piece of software? what one does with it is obviously a different story, but I didnt think there was anything illegal against buying and selling a piece of software.

      If it teaches a lesson to fucking imbeciles who think it is fun hacking into innocent people's computers, I'm all for them getting locked up. The lesson is that computers are "real world". That unknown people owning these computers are not "slaves" as they like to call them, but real people.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Why would software be different from hardware? Take cell phone jammers. Illegal. What if you made an app for iOS that, when activated, jammed all the cell signals within a 500' radius? Is that app illegal? Is the app legal, but the phones illegal once the app is installed? Maybe the phones are illegal only when the app is running, but not when it isn't? Maybe only when the app is in RAM but not sitting on flash? If I take my SD card out, is the phone legal now?
      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        What if you made an app for iOS that, when activated, jammed all the cell signals within a 500' radius?[...] If I take my SD card out, is the phone legal now?

        Nope, if you have an SD card to take out, you're using a KIRF iPhone and it was illegal as soon as it was imported to the US, and always will be. For a slightly different reason though.

      • Cell phone jammers are illegal to DEPLOY, not illegal to own.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          They're illegal to market, sell or use:
          http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/jammerenforcement/jamfaq.pdf
          But you're right, if you own one as long as you don't use it it seems ok to possess.

      • Cell phone jammers are legal, jamming cell phones is illegal. There is a difference.
    • What happened with the whole 'possession of hacking tools' being a crime? I could only find the proposed stuff in the EU, but I swear I had heard of people charge with this before. I know, I know...citation needed.
      You can be arrested for 'possession of burglary tools', but this seems convoluted in the same way. You can buy an electric lock-pick off the shelf at Northern-Tool-and-Equipment without any kind of license or even showing ID. You can be arrested for having it on your person right outside the door.

  • NSA (Score:3, Funny)

    by eedwardsjr (1327857) on Monday May 19, 2014 @01:22PM (#47039543)
    "For internal use only"
    • "Shakes fist"... Dang, beat me to it!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      When are they going to arrest the NSA, GCHQ, or the other nation-state adversaries doing this exact same thing?

      Do we need to catch them and report them to the police first?

      People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

      Also, don't build glass houses. Or throw stones.

  • by mythosaz (572040) on Monday May 19, 2014 @01:24PM (#47039557)

    How many of you thought, "Hey, only $200...hmmmm?"

    Be honest.

    I wonder what this particular Slashvertisement cost to buy?

    • Your tinfoil hat's width would stop an ICBM.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I thought, "I bet I can google this and get it for free." I was right.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Hard enough to trust malware that you paid for, how trustworthy do you think a "free" copy that you managed to find will be?

    • I looked for it. If I could trust it (hahahahahaha) it would be really useful for remotely fixing computers for all the people who expect me to fix their computers. But as I was digging around I decided anything that hard to buy isn't going to be trustworthy. I'll stick to log me in.
  • by ruir (2709173) on Monday May 19, 2014 @01:45PM (#47039729) Homepage
    So please, write Windows computers and not just computers. Thank you.
    • by cdrudge (68377) on Monday May 19, 2014 @02:14PM (#47039961) Homepage

      Anyone who you would want to stalk, read their dirty emails, and see naked via a spycam is using Windows. Or possibly a Mac. I REALLY don't think you want to see the average Linux user naked and/or blackmail them for dirty pictures.

      • by haploc (57693)

        I REALLY don't think you want to see the average Linux user naked and/or blackmail them for dirty pictures.

        One of the few examples where 'security through obscurity' does work.

    • Don't you know that on Slashdot, you can attack Mac OS X, iOS, Linux and Android, but you can't say a word about the holy gaming-OS?

    • by HiThere (15173)

      No. Please write "MSWindows computers". Microsoft does not own the trademark on windows in English speaking countries. It is a common word in descriptive use and is therefore not eligible for trademark protection.

  • by no-body (127863)

    Only 100 - that can't be. NSA is not that understaffed!

  • How is this any different from something like GoToMyPc.COM or Join.Me ????

    Should I be worried now that I use join.me to invite friends to see what I'm doing, or use it to help friends having trouble?

    A piece of software's intended functions should not be viewed as good or bad, it's simply a tool. You can club some one over the head with a monkey wrench and kill them. Does that mean this tool has no legitimate uses?

    "Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou?"

    • Because Join.Me instalsl itself silently on a remote host, uses your webcam without your permission, encrypts your files without you knowing then sends you a ransom note asking for money. Good comparison Einstein. Please tell, what legitimate legal purpose do you foolishly believe this software could possibly serve?
  • raids sponsored by Vupen :)

  • A hair dresser needs a license to cut hair But people who write this kinda software need nothing??? doesn't make any since to me. This kinda software has zero business in the public domain stop giving the criminals tools for free. And that is IMO
  • "Law enforcement around the world has teamed-up to arrest 97 for buying/using Blackshades malware, which can remotely seize control of a victim's computer"

    What Operating System does this malware run on, or aren't we allowed to mention Microsoft Windows. ref [scribd.com]

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