Hackers will try anything to get your information - and they'll even sell their secrets for the right price.
Now, 97 of those sellers, buyers and users of hacking software called Blackshades have been arrested in 16 countries. The software, which allows users to gain remote control of someone's computer, infected nearly half a million computers. According to the FBI, financial information and identities were stolen, and some victims were extorted.
Remote-control software does have legitimate uses. Some services, like GoToMyPC, use such software to allow people to use their work computer at home. But such software can be turned into a malicious weapon. It can be used to take over webcams, install keyloggers, download malware and seize a computer for ransom.
The Blackshades tool was advertised online as useful for spying on spouses, children and anybody else who might access your computer. But it was installed on other machines remotely, opening up the conduit for spying and other illegal activities.
The FBI has seized the Blackshades site, and indictments have been unsealed. Alex Yucel, the alleged owner and operator of Blackshades, is among those indicted.
I've said it before and I'll keep on saying it. You need to secure your computer now. Go to my Security Center to protect your computer.