Halesowen teenager arrested as part of FBI cybercrime swoop

Cybercrime is increasing

Cybercrime is increasing

First published in News

A TEENAGE Halesowen computer user has been arrested as part of an FBI led international cybercrime investigation.

The 19-year-old was one of 80 people arrested across the world as part of the investigation into the unlawful use of a Remote Access Tool (RAT) called Blackshades.

Investigators believe 200,000 usernames and passwords of global victims may have been taken by UK users of BlackShades.

Detective Inspector Rob Harris from the Regional Cyber Crime Unit, said "Law enforcement is now acutely aware of the threat posed by cyber criminality and this operation has demonstrated our ability to rise to that threat and go after those engaged in this type of offending.

"Work at a local, regional and national level is building our capability around cybercrime and the message is now clear; if you engage in any form cyber criminality UK policing has the capability to come after you."

Coordinated in the UK by the National Crime Agency, the week of arrests, searches and seizures has involved nearly every UK Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU), as well as Police Scotland and the Metropolitan Police.

Three men, including the 19-year-old, arrested from the West Midlands region have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

A number of seized items are being forensically examined.

Assistant director-in-charge of the FBI George Venizelos said: “Armed with $40 and a computer, an individual could easily get the Blackshades Remote Access Tool and become a perpetrator.

"It required no sophisticated hacking experience or expensive equipment."

He added: "This tool was purchased by thousands of people in more than 100 countries and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice anyone who used Blackshades maliciously."

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