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November 21, 2014

NCA arrests four in remote access trojan swoop

Arrests made in connection with international operation to spread RATS.

By Jimmy Nicholls

UK police have arrested four people in connection with an international operation to spread Remote Access Trojans (RATs), a tool used for remotely hijacking computers.

The arrests include two men and a woman from Leeds, as well as a man from Chatham in Kent. They were brought in by the National Crime Agency (NCA), described in some quarter’s as the British FBI.

Andy Archibald, deputy director of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, said: "The illegal use of Remote Access Trojans is a significant cybercrime threat, demanding this kind of strong, coordinated response from international to local UK level.

"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."

Another man from Liverpool was brought in by the West Midlands organised crime unit for voluntary questioning, following the execution of a search warrant on him.

A video posted by the NCA to YouTube showed the police detaining at least one of the suspects, with the arrest and detention of the suspect executed with no incident.

"Cyber criminals are using very sophisticated technology to breach online security systems and to conceal their digital tracks," said Peter Goodman, Association of Chief Police Officers cybercrime lead and East Midlands deputy chief constable.

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"However, the police forces in the UK and overseas have the expertise to identify and disrupt those who are determined to access computers in order to steal data or to commit serious offences, wherever they are in the world."

The NCA advises that users avoid clicking unknown or unverified links in email and on the web, although this will not protect potential victims against the malvertising campaigns that silently download viruses through malicious adverts.

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