23 June 2011 | Category: Software
Scareware groups were rocked when police in the US, UK, and six other countries seized equipment in a scheme that has paid over $72 million from victims buying fake anti-virus software.
The suspects planted scareware on 960,000 computers that pretended to find malicious software or viruses, prompting the victim to purchase anti-virus software for a problem that did not exist.
The US Justice Department stated that 22 computers and servers were seized in the US, and 25 more in France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK in the sweeping, multinational assault on the scammers. In addition, Latvia claims to have seized banks accounts used by the leaders of the scam.
The US has also reported to have disrupted a second scam run by two Latvians who ran an advertisement on a Minnesota newspaper's website, a scam that led to nearly $2 million in losses. The Latvians have been charged with two counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy, and one count of computer fraud in the US.
The arrests and seizures mark a year in which the US is being far more aggressive in investigating and punishing cyber crime, and it continues to investigate hacking attempts on institutions and corporations.