Spanish authorities and Europol say they've broken up a gang of Russians, Ukrainians, and Georgians who allegedly collected millions of euros of false fines after infecting computers with a virus and accusing users of viewing child pornography or illegally sharing files.
Officials said the gang collected at least 1 million euros annually through its use of the virus, dubbed “ransomware.”
The suspects are alleged to have demanded the payment of fines from victims whom they accused of viewing child pornography or illegally downloading files.
Officials said a 27-year-old Russian, alleged to be the gang’s founder and virus developer, was detained in the United Arab Emirates.
Six other Russians, two Ukrainians, and two Georgians were arrested in Spain last week on allegations of being part of the gang.
Officials said hundreds of thousands of people in 30 mostly European nations were believed to have been affected by the operations of the gang.
Based on reporting from AP, Reuters, and AFP