Malware Arrests Send Message to Cyber Thieves

by Erin on November 20th, 2009 in Industry and Security News.

This past week, news broke that British police have made groundbreaking headway in combating cyber crime, making the first arrests in Europe of two people suspected of distributing Zeus – a sophisticated Trojan designed to steal sensitive data. On November 3, the Metropolitan Police’s Central e-Crime Unit arrested a man and a woman in Manchester, England on suspicion of helping spread the Trojan, known as Zeus or Zbot.

At Lavasoft, we detect this threat as ‘Win32.TrojanSpy.Zbot’ in Ad-Aware's Detection Database; it’s a type of malicious program that can steal information such as passwords, surfing habits, credit card details and e-mail addresses. According to a statement on its website, the Metropolitan Police say that the malware allowed distributors to harvest “millions of lines of data from affected machines – hundreds of thousands per day…”

What does this breakthrough mean for combating malware? Andy Browne, the team leader of the Malware Labs here at Lavasoft, says that the arrests of two suspects distributing Zbot sends a long overdue and strong message that such behavior is a serious criminal offense and will not tolerated. Good work, Scotland Yard!