European police nab zombie hackers

Pro

3 July 2006

Police in the UK and Finland have arrested three men suspected of being behind a campaign of computer worm attacks.

The UK Metropolitan Police’s Computer Crime Unit, the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation and the Finnish Pori Police Department have arrested a 63 year-old man in Suffolk, a 28 year-old man in Scotland and a 19 year-old man in Finland.

All three men, who are suspected of being members of the M00P virus-writing gang, were arrested in connection with a conspiracy to infect computers with malware.

 

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The M00P gang is believed to have taken its name from an episode of South Park in which the characters formed a band called ‘Moop’. The episode explored how file sharing affects the music industry.

The group is believed to have written malware in order to create a zombie network (or botnet) of compromised computers under their control.

“The police in the UK and Finland should be congratulated for investigating this computer crime ring and breaking up the gang before it can do any more harm to innocent web surfers and businesses,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

“It’s great to see one less virus writing gang, but this is probably just the tip of the iceberg. More and more criminals around the globe are being tempted by the anonymity the internet offers to commit their crimes online.

“A strong message needs to be sent out that those who engage in malicious computer attacks will receive severe punishment.”

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