Europol has neutralized the network that distributes the Imminent Monitor RAT tool

As part of a coordinated international operation, Europol neutralized the cybercrime network that spread the malicious tool Imminent Monitor RAT (IM-RAT).

With it, criminals got remote access to the computers of the victims.

“A hacking tool that was able to give full remote control of a victim’s computer to cybercriminals has been taken down as a result of an international law enforcement operation targeting the sellers and users of the Imminent Monitor Remote Access Trojan (IM-RAT)”, — report Europol IS specialits.

The operation aimed at both users and IM-RAT sellers. More than 14,500 customers purchased the tool, it was used against tens of thousands of victims in 124 countries. As part of the operation, the infrastructure was neutralized, and the Imminent Monitor website was also disabled.

Read also: Third-party SDKs secretly collected data from Twitter and Facebook users

A malicious tool promoted under the mask of a legitimate remote administration framework was widely used for unauthorized access to target users’ computers and theft of their credentials for online banking and other financial accounts. IM-RAT is considered a dangerous threat because of its features, ease of use and low cost (lifetime access cost only $ 25).

Steven Wilson
Steven Wilson

“We now live in a world where, for just US$25, a cybercriminal halfway across the world can, with just a click of the mouse, access your personal details or photographs of loved ones or even spy on you. It is important to remember that some basic steps can prevent you falling victim to such spyware: we continue to urge the public to ensure their operating systems and security software are up to date”, — Steven Wilson, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), said.

After installation, IM-RAT gives attackers complete control over target computers, allowing them to perform various malicious actions without the user’s knowledge, including recording keystrokes, stealing data and passwords from browsers, monitoring victims via web cameras, downloading and running files, and disconnecting antivirus software, terminate running processes, etc.

Law enforcement officers have arrested 13 IM-RAT buyers in Australia, Colombia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The police also seized more than 430 devices from customers and are now examining computers and equipment.

Recommendations from Europol

The public and businesses can follow simple steps to help protect themselves from such malware, including:

  1. Update your software, including anti-virus software;
  2. Install a good firewall;
  3. Don’t open suspicious e-mail attachments or URLs – even if they come from people on your contact list;
  4. Create strong passwords.
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James Brown

Technology news writer and part-time security researcher. Author of how-to articles related to Windows computer issue solving.

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