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Couple arrested in Manchester over alleged Zbot trojan distribution

18 November 2009

Reports are coming in of an important arrest in connection with the now-infamous Zbot group of trojan malware.

Local news reports from Manchester say that a series of raids have been carried out in the area with a young man and woman having been arrested - who are being interviewed by officers with the Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) about distributing the Zbot trojan.

As reported previously by Infosecurity, the Zbot trojan has become one of the most virulent trojans in recent months with Sunbelt Software reporting incidences as 25% up during October compared to the month before.

Earlier this month a variant of the Zbot trojan started appearing targeting users of the Verizon and Vodafone mobile networks, offering subscribers an account-checking utility.

When loaded, the utility turned out to be a data-stealing trojan, designed to grab information from internet users which would help hackers break into online bank accounts and social networking sites such as BeBo and Facebook.

According to the PCeU, an announcement on the Zbot trojan case arrests is expected shortly.

Commenting on the breaking news story, Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant with Sophos, said that versions of the Zbot trojan have been spammed out to unsuspecting internet users, using a variety of social engineering tricks to try to trick the unwary into opening an attachment or clicking on a link to a website hosting malware.

In his blog, Cluley said: "Zbot hijacks your computer, making it part of a criminal botnet. Hackers control thousands of compromised computers around the world - using them as a zombie army to spew out spam, spread more malware and launch denial-of-service attacks".

Cluley said that the Manchester pair have been arrested under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and the 2006 Fraud Act.

This article is featured in:
Malware and Hardware Security

 

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