The FBI and police in several countries have arrested over a hundred people and conducted hundreds of searches in recent days in a global crackdown on hackers linked to the malicious software called Blackshades, according to two law enforcement officials.
The years-long probe is targeting one of the most popular tools used by cyber-criminals to hijack computers around the world.
The malware sells for as little as $40. It can be used to hijack computers remotely and turn on computer webcams, access hard drives and capture keystrokes to steal passwords -- without the knowledge of the victim.
Criminals have used it for everything from extortion to bank fraud, the FBI says.
People familiar with the investigation say U.S. prosecutors are expected to announce some of the results of the law enforcement effort later Monday. The FBI recently promised to make arrests and indictments to combat the criminal intrusions they say are growing rapidly in number.
(from CNN Justice Reporter Evan Perez and CNN Justice Producer Shimon Prokupecz / sourcing approved by Levine)
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