LONDON, 23rd November 2015 – Two suspects have been arrested on suspicion of operating a website offering services to help criminals overcome and avoid anti malware software, following a joint investigation led by the National Crime Agency and Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704;TSE: 4704), a global leader in security software and solutions.
A 22 year-old man and a 22-year-old woman from Colchester, Essex were detained as a result of a partnership between the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) and Trend Micro. They have been bailed until February 2016 pending further enquiries.
The suspect’s website - reFUD.me - provided a number of functions, both free and for charge, which allowed malware developers to scan their illegal files. They would then learn whether or not they could successfully infect victims’ computers by circumventing their malware protection.
If a piece of malware was detected, changes could be made by the developer to make the file ‘Fully UnDetectable.’ Statistics on the website claim that more than 1.2 million scans have been conducted since February 2015.
Crypter services were also offered, allowing malware files to be packaged and disguised using encryption. ‘Cryptex Reborn,’ the form of crypting available on the forum, is among the most sophisticated developed in recent years.
Malware developers could purchase a licence to download and use the product to encrypt their files – charges ranging from $20 per month to $90 for lifetime usage.
“This ongoing investigation shows how the NCA is taking its work with industry to combat cybercrime to the next level,” said Steve Laval, from the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit. “Although the website offered services designed to help circumvent anti-virus software, computer users can protect themselves from most malware threats by taking some simple precautions,” said Laval. “The NCA urges all internet users to ensure they have up to date anti-virus software installed on their machines and to avoid clicking on unknown or suspicious links or email attachments.”
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was agreed between the National Crime Agency and Trend Micro in July 2015, marking a significant step forward in cooperation between the two parties in understanding and combating cybercrime. The agreement will see the formation of a cross-organisation ‘virtual team,’ which will seek to identify innovative ways of tackling specific cybercrime threats.
“This investigation is the result of Trend Micro's collaboration with the NCA and other partners to tackle some of the core components that enable cybercriminal business models to exist,” said Martin Rösler, senior director of threat research, Trend Micro. “Helping to take down operations such as this is part of our ongoing effort to keep the world safe for exchanging digital information, for both our customers and the Internet at large.”
Internet users are encouraged to visit Cyber Streetwise and Get Safe Online where a number of anti-malware tools are available to clean up and protect computers.
For more information on the MOU between Trend Micro and the National Crime Agency, please visit www.trendmicro.co.uk/newsroom/pr/trend-micro-and-national-crime-agency-sign-cyber-crime-busting-partnership
About the National Crime Agency
The National Crime Agency (NCA) leads UK law enforcement’s fight to cut serious and organised crime. With national and international reach, the NCA has the mandate and powers to work in partnership with other law enforcement organisations to bring the full weight of the law to bear on serious and organised criminals.
The NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) leads the UK’s response to cybercrime, supports partners with specialist capabilities and coordinates the national response to the most serious of cybercrime threats.
More information can be found via www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk.
About Trend Micro
Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704), a global leader in security software, strives to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Our solutions for consumers, Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ provide layered content security to protect information on mobile devices, endpoints, gateways, servers and the cloud. Trend Micro enables the smart protection of information, with innovative security technology that is simple to deploy and manage, and fits an evolving ecosystem. Leveraging these solutions, organizations can protect their end users, their evolving data center and cloud resources, and their information threatened by sophisticated targeted attacks.
All of solutions are powered by cloud-based global threat intelligence, the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™, and are supported by over 1,200 threat experts around the globe.
For more information, visit www.trendmicro.com/en_gb/. Or follow our news on Twitter at @TrendMicroUK.