Police Crack Down on DroidJack Spyware with Europe-wide Arrests

Police have raided homes and made arrests across Europe and the US as they look to crack down on an Android spyware tool dubbed ‘DroidJack.’

Europol revealed in a short statement that in the investigation, initiated by Germany, law enforcers from Germany, France, the UK, Belgium, Switzerland and the United States “carried out a number of house searches and arrests of suspected users of the mobile phone malware.”

Europol said it backed the initiative by “providing analytical support and by facilitating information exchange in the framework of the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce, hosted at Europol's European Cybercrime Centre in The Hague.”

However, it’s unclear exactly how many arrests were made in each country.

In the UK, police from the National Crime Agency confirmed to the BBC that they had arrested a 28-year-old man from Carlisle “under suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offences.”

DroidJack, as the name suggests, is a remote access trojan (RAT) which allows users to effectively hijack a targeted Android smartphone to spy on its owner.

It can enable the attacker to record phone calls, and monitor emails, texts and browser history as well as the victim’s location.   

Security blogger Graham Cluley argued that the arrests may force jealous lovers tempted to buy a copy of the RAT to spy on their partners to think again.

“Just to be clear, the action does not appear to have seen computer crime investigators hunting and apprehending the authors of DroidJack, but instead taking a long hard look at the people who had purchased the software and used it to spy upon others,” he added.

“Although most of us would probably like to see the authors of such malware punished in some way, it’s also clear that it’s important that those who are on the other side of the supply-and-demand chain are also discouraged.”

Although it’s sold blatantly online, the malware could get users into trouble if they install it on another’s device without their permission.

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