Police swoop on cyber RATs

Officers from the NCAThe National Crime Agency (NCA) said it arrested five people in the UK in a coordinated international operation designed to net cyber crooks.

It said that raids it carried out over several days resulted in the arrest of people using tools called Remote Access Trojans (RATs).

Cyber rats who use RATs can control computers worldwide doing things like grabbing access to banking, turn webcams on and off, and use a person’s computer to join in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

People fall victim to RATs when they click on dubious links that install the software used by the crooks to control computers.

The people arrested in the UK include three people in Leeds, a man in Chatham, a 40 year old man in Darlington, and a 19 year old man from Liverpool.

Aside from the UK arrests, another 11 people were picked up by police in Estonia, France, Romania, Latvia, Italy and Norway.

Andy Archibald, deputy director of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit said the illegal use of RATs “is a significant cyber crime threat. Suspected users of RATs are continuing to find that, despite having no physical contact or interaction with their victims, they can still be identified, tracked down and arrested by the NCA and its partners”.

He said anyone convicted of these crimes could find themselves in jail.