One of the most wanted hackers from Belarus has been arrested in what is possibly the most highly classified intelligence and police operation ever seen in the region.The hacker is believed to have been in his home country and taken down after many years of arrest attempts.The alleged cyber-criminal has been on the trail of infecting millions of computer systems with a network of malware.He is also accused of scamming his victims using financial deals.The police department from Belarus did cooperate with other law enforcement agencies from the affected and interested parties.They included countries like the United States and Germany, who were much affected by the activities of the suspected hacker.
The suspected hacker also ran a vast and organized network of computers that he took control of without the knowledge of the owners.It is believed the hacker was able to take over the computers through a short period by sending malicious emails to the victim’s computer.Belarus police officials, who were working closely with investigators in the U.S., were able to hunt down the suspect on firm grounds.The hacker was also suspected of selling malicious software in an online platform by the name Andromeda network.
The law enforcement entities involved in the joint takedown firmly state that the arrested person was the administrator of the Andromeda network.But there is no precise information about the hacker and his relation to the system, as his activities were all anonymous.The said Andromeda network is a sophisticated program that systemically connected infected computers from all over the world.
They were used to propagate all forms of malware that the hacker created to reach a broader audience.The legitimate owners of the affected computers were never aware of the presence of a virus on their devices.This made it easier for the hacker to take over even more unsuspecting computers in the line of the network.This was merely from the fact that Andromeda was essentially a botnet network, causing more harm than was even projected.The networks of infected computers were in turn given access to other cybercriminals who took control of them for malicious acts.
Handcuffs on the laptop close-up. Cyber hacker crime concept.One of the most wanted hackers from Belarus has been arrested in what is possibly the most highly classified intelligence and police operation ever seen in the region.This made the whole scenario even more complicated, taking into consideration the fact that the criminals’ communications were highly encrypted to evade action by law enforcement.The level of online scams made from the infected computers was extremely devastating, as it took place for quite some time without police action.Cybersecurity researchers have stated that the arrested hacker from Belarus has been in the business since 2004.
They also believe the detained cybercriminal is Ar3s, a renowned hacker with a Russian background who is also the creator of many different hacking tools, together with Andromeda botnet.Europol has stated that Andromeda is one of the oldest malware programs on the market.This is after it infected millions of computers on a monthly basis for years.After news about the arrest was made public, speculations began to arise about what happened and who exactly was arrested.In an analysis, researchers from threat intelligence firm Recorded Future identified the suspect as Sergei Yarets, a 33-year-old man living in Rechytsa, Belarus.
This gives a clue as to who authorities are dealing with.The said suspect is believed to work with a television broadcaster found in southeastern Belarus.He is also thought to be the technical director of the same company, as described by his supposed LinkedIn profile.Most of the colleagues working with Yarets are skeptical of giving any information regarding his arrest, but one government official has confirmed the suspect to be Yarets.During the arrest, computers and other electronics belonging to the alleged hacker were seized to assist in the investigations.
The goal would be for the hacker to assist law enforcement in understanding the engineering behind the Andromeda botnet.This follows the pressure to stop the propagation of the malware to more computers around the globe.A well-coordinated team of experts are working to shut down the virus in the very shortest time possible.The task force mandated for this action includes the U.
S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Germany’s Federal Office for Information, as well as law enforcement entities in Canada, Taiwan and Singapore.Their effort is to mitigate any further catastrophe likely to be caused by the malware.The investigative parties are also closely working with Microsoft and researchers at the cybersecurity firm ESET to study the botnet’s impact on the infected computers.Belarus police have stated that the hacking suspect was involved in a darknet market where he sold the copy of Andromeda for $500.He sold the malware to other cybercriminals and later charged them about $10 for any form of a software update.The notorious hacker also sold keyloggers, which are used to steal login information such as passwords and usernames for about $150.The Microsoft team has also stated that the hacker charged about $250 for any assistance in taking data from any web browser.A well-coordinated operation made by the German authorities together with the Microsoft team has taken control of most of the infected computers worldwide.The police used what is known as a sinkhole to take full control of the botnet network.This involved sending a message to the infected computers for them to take action.Presently, half of the initially infected computers are still at the risk of being used by cybercriminals, as they have not been thoroughly cleaned off the network.There are high hopes that the arrested suspect will help in controlling and shutting down the entire Andromeda network, but only time will tell.