U.S. Department of Justice said federal authorities in Los Angeles, as part of an international law enforcement effort, have seized worldwiredlabs dot com, an internet domain, for selling malicious software criminals used to steal data from and take control of victims’ computers.
The site sold NetWire, a type of malware called a remote access trojan (RAT), which is a sophisticated program capable of targeting and infecting every major computer operating system, Reuters news report said.
It allows covert surveillance, creating a backdoor for administrative control and unfettered and unauthorized remote access to a victim’s computer, without the victim’s knowledge or permission, according to court records filed in Los Angeles the statement cited.
It was unclear how many times the malware had been bought off the seized website. The digital rights watchdog Citizen Lab said in a report in 2017 that NetWire first appeared in 2012 and has been used in attacks ranging from credit card fraud to those targeting the healthcare and banking sectors.
“Criminals used NetWire on a global scale, and we have responded by dismantling the infrastructure that has caused untold harm to victims around the world,” U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said in a statement.
A Croatian national who was the site’s administrator was arrested in his country on Tuesday while Swiss law enforcement separately seized the computer server hosting the malware infrastructure, U.S. Department of Justice said.
White House last week unveiled a new cybersecurity strategy demanding for stronger coalitions with foreign governments.