A global operation took down the Remote Access Trojan (RAT) Luminosity Link.
Coordinated by the UK National Crime Agency with the support of Europol, this operation saw the involvement of over a dozen law enforcement agencies in Europe, Australia and North America.
Once installed upon a victim’s computer, a user of the Luminosity Link RAT was free to access and view documents, photographs and other files, record all the keystrokes entered and even activate the webcam on the victim’s computer. All of that could end up being done without the victim’s knowledge.
These joint actions were carried out in September and the details were just released.
Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) supported the countries in their efforts to identify EU citizens by providing analytical support and by facilitating information exchange in the framework of the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce, hosted at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague.
The investigation uncovered a network of individuals who supported the distribution and use of the RAT across 78 countries and sold it to more than 8,600 buyers via a website dedicated to hacking and the use of criminal malware.
Luminosity Link cost as little as €40 and required little technical knowledge to be deployed.
Victims are believed to be in the thousands, with investigators having already identified evidence of stolen personal details, passwords, private photographs, video footage and data. Forensic analysis on the large number of computers and Internet accounts seized continues.
“Through such strong, coordinated actions across national boundaries, criminals across the world are finding out that committing crimes remotely offers no protection from arrests,” said Steven Wilson, head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre. “Nobody wants their personal details or photographs of loved ones to be stolen by criminals. We continue to urge everybody to ensure their operating systems and security software are up to date.”