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Global law enforcement operation targets hackers behind malware

By Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz
updated 7:11 PM EDT, Fri May 16, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Law enforcement targeting Blackshades software, said to be used to hijack computers
  • The effort aims to tackle problem impacting computer users around the world
  • Hacker forums buzzing in recent days about police searches

(CNN) -- The FBI and police in several countries have launched raids aimed at hackers behind the malicious software Blackshades, which authorities say is used by cyber criminals to remotely hijack computers and carry out crimes like extortion and bank fraud.

People familiar with the operation say it is aimed at trying to tackle a growing cyber-crime problem that targets computer users around the world.

Hacker forums in recent days have buzzed with reports of police searches being carried out in France and several other countries.

Robert Anderson, the FBI's executive assistant director of the criminal, cyber, response, and services branch, said at a Reuters conference this week that the bureau would be launching an aggressive crackdown on cyber crime, promising arrests and indictments to try to take on the booming international cyber-crime business.

"There is a philosophy change," Anderson said. "If we can reach out and touch you, we are going to reach out and touch you."

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