UK police launch hacker crackdown

In an attempt to curb the rise of disorder in the electronic world, British police made two arrests for cybercrimes last week
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor

Police are stepping up the war on cybercrime with two arrests in the past week in opposite corners of Europe.

An Eastern European man and a UK man both felt the long arm of law after allegedly committing separate, unrelated crimes.

In the UK a Sheffield man has been bailed to reappear after being arrested for offences under the Computer Misuse Act.

Officers from New Scotland Yard's Computer Crime Unit arrested the man believed to be responsible for hacking into dating Web site loveandfriends.com.

In the course of their investigations police also found evidence on the man's PC which suggested he was responsible for the release of the Mirsa.A virus, a malicious program released to little effect earlier this year.

Mirsa.A contained a Fathers4Justice-themed message, though the attempt to champion the cause of the equal rights organisation was slammed by the group which distanced itself from the limited number of emails sighted in the wild.

The message also appeared to betray the fact it had come from Sheffield with a reference to the Yorkshire city.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the continent police in Estonia arrested a 24-year-old man suspected of creating and distributing a Trojan which enabled him to steal data and commit identity theft against the owners of compromised machines.

The piece of spyware was able to steal keystrokes, enabling the originator to gather data such as online banking passwords and user names.

Media reports suggest the culprit had already used this information to steal money from victims.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: "The last 12 months have seen a dramatic rise in the number of new viruses, worms and Trojan horses designed to steal the keystrokes of innocent computer users. The information stolen by this kind of phishing attack can be equivalent to someone watching over your shoulder as you type your password into the computer."

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