The National Crime Agency (NCA) said it has made 57 arrests in the UK this week for people suspected of illegal acts related to computers.
The alleged offences include network intrusion and data theft from enterprises and governments; distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks; cyber related fraud and malicious software and virus development.
The NCA worked with local police forces across the UK to make the arrests.
25 people in the London and Essex area were arrested by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of cyber fraud including theft and money laundering.
Five men were arrested in Kidlington, Oxford for an alleged conspiracy to commit computer misuse offences.
One man was arrested in the West Midlands on suspicion of network intrusion on the US Department of Defense.
Peter Goodman, deputy chief constable, said that cyber crime wasn’t victimless and SMEs can be bankrupted by cyber attacks. Publication of personal data could seriously affect people.
The NCA says people should go to www.getsafeonline.org and www.cyberstreetwise.com to stay up to date on how to keep your computer more secure.
The 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.