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Australian authorities issue warning over rise in "plague" malware

Jun 09, 2024

Sydney [Australia], June 9: Australian authorities have issued a warning to internet users over a rise in hidden viruses that give cybercriminals remote control of their devices.
In a statement released on Sunday, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) urged online users to protect themselves from a surge in the use of Remote Access Trojans (RATs) by criminals.
RATs are a form of malicious malware that can be embedded in downloadable email attachments or video game add-ons or modifications.
Once a RAT has been downloaded, the malware can covertly take unauthorized control of a victim's electronic device to conduct surveillance and steal sensitive personal information.
Chris Goldsmid, Acting Assistant Commissioner of the AFP, said that authorities have identified an increase in cybercriminals attempting to target Australians and people around the world through the use of RATs.
"These viruses, known as RATs, are the tools of cybercriminals and are built to spread and take over a victim's device, just like a plague," he said.
"This type of cyber offending can evolve into extreme and malicious forms of data theft and victim manipulation, with criminals using stolen data to commit extortion or financial crimes."
The AFP in April charged an Australian man after he allegedly developed and sold a RAT to customers on a hacking forum.
Source: Xinhua