Police bust global cyber-crime extortion ring
Madrid: Spanish police and Europol have busted a global cyber-crime operation that infected millions of computers with a virus that falsely accused victims of viewing child pornography and demanded a fine payment, officials have said.
Police detained 11 people as part of the operation, including a 27-year-old Russian suspected of creating and distributing the virus, Europol Director Rob Wainwright told a news conference in Madrid yesterday.
The virus locked computers in over 30 countries, mostly in Europe, and it demanded payment of a fine of 100 euros ($135) to return control to its user, he said.
The message generated by the virus used the logo of the national police force and the language of the country where the computer was based to accuse the victim of having viewed child pornography or pirated movies online, he added.
“This operation is the first major operation of its kind,” Wainwright said. “This is an example of the evolving nature of cyber-crime online, of how cyber-crime is becoming more sophisticated.” The authorities said the group raised millions of euros with its scam but could not yet cite a precise amount.