Federal authorities have dismantled a major malware operation, seizing online marketplaces and being involved in its sale and support.
This international effort targeted a service known as “Warzone RAT,” a powerful tool cybercriminals use to remotely access and steal data from victims’ computers.
Federal authorities in Boston shut down websites used to sell the malware, effectively disrupting their operations.
Indictments were unsealed against individuals in Malta and Nigeria accused of selling the malware and aiding cybercriminals.
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In a joint effort, the Malta Police Force and the Office of the Attorney General of Malta orchestrated a coordinated operation resulting in the arrest of Daniel Meli, 27, from Zabbar, Malta, on February 7.
The charges include causing unauthorized damage to protected computers, illegally selling and advertising an electronic interception device, and involvement in a conspiracy to commit various computer intrusion offenses.
Nigerian citizen Prince Onyeoziri Odinakachi, 31, faced indictment for computer intrusion, including gaining authorized access and causing unauthorized damage to protected.
Documents indicate that Odinakachi offered online customer support to users of the Warzone RAT malware.
“Daniel Meli will no longer escape accountability for his actions selling malware,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan for the Northern District of Georgia.
“This action highlights the FBI’s commitment to disrupting cybercriminal actors and taking down their infrastructure,” said Assistant Director Brian Vorndran of the FBI’s Cyber Division.
The U.S. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs applauds the vital support of a multinational coalition in dismantling the Warzone RAT infrastructure.
This collective effort involved the FBI (Boston & Atlanta) and authorities in Malta, Australia, Croatia, Netherlands, Finland, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Romania, and Canada.
Individuals impacted by a Warzone RAT compromise are strongly encouraged to file a report with the FBI.