'Shylock' malware hit by authorities

NCA officers The action was lead by cybersecurity experts from the UK's National Crime Agency

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A cybersecurity threat known as Shylock has been disrupted thanks to an international operation, the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) has said.

Shylock was said to have been installed on more than 30,000 machines worldwide, but mostly targeted bank accounts of people living in the UK.

As ever, the NCA urged the public to make sure their security software was fully up-to-date.

The action follows a similar effort led by US authorities last month.

The Zeus botnet was said to have infected more than a million computers worldwide.

The US is seeking a Russian man, Evgeniy Bogachev, in connection with the operation.

Shakespeare

This latest action has been led by UK intelligence services, working in conjunction with security experts based in The Hague.

"The NCA is co-ordinating an international response to a cybercrime threat to businesses and individuals around the world," said Andy Archibald, deputy director of the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit.

"This phase of activity is intended to have a significant effect on the Shylock infrastructure and demonstrates how we are using partnerships across sectors and across national boundaries to cut cybercrime impacting the UK."

The Shylock malware - so named because passages from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice were found within its code - affected computers running Microsoft's Windows operating system.

Authorities were able to seize computer servers that were controlling Shylock.

However, cybercriminals are often quick to react when disrupted by server seizures.

In the case of Zeus, authorities predicted it would take just two weeks for criminals to reorganise themselves and restart the operation.

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