On Friday, U.S. officials said that they had taken down websites that were being used to sell “Warzone RAT,” a type of malware that hackers might employ to steal data from victims’ computers.
They also said that two persons had been detained on similar accusations in Malta and Nigeria.
Federal prosecutors in Boston reported that law enforcement had taken down four domains that together sold malware, which gave hackers the ability to infiltrate computers covertly and use them for harmful reasons.
Prosecutors said that the software, a so-called remote access trojan, gave hackers access to file systems, screenshots, user names and passwords of victims, keystroke records, and webcam footage of computer users.
Chief of the FBI’s Boston division Jodi Cohen described it as sophisticated malware that was used to infiltrate computers all across the world.
Due to their suspected involvement, two people who were detained abroad have been charged in the US.
Daniel Meli, 27, of Zabbar, Malta, was charged with various cyber-related offences including causing unlawful damage to protected devices in an indictment that was filed in federal court in Atlanta.
Prosecutors said that since 2012, he has given instructional materials, such as an eBook, for sale and marketed malware products like the Warzone RAT through online computer-hacking forums. The American administration is requesting his extradition.
Prosecutors claimed that Prince Onyeoziri Odinakachi, 31, of Nigeria, was accused of plotting to commit many computer intrusion offences in an indictment that was submitted in Boston.
According to the indictment, Odinakachi offered Warzone RAT malware victims online customer support between June 2019 and March 2023.
The identities of Meli and Odinakachi’s defence attorneys were not immediately available.