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‘Suspect’s movements, phones monitored for over 8 months’
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 11: Personnel from the Criminal Investigation Department (Cybercrime) as part of an international operation called ‘Gold Dust’ have arrested a 21-year-old Asian, a university student and member of a 7-man international gang for spreading ‘ransom’ viruses in a number of countries, including Kuwait, reports Al-Anba daily. The arrest came, the daily said, after receiving information from Interpol that one of the members of the gang was residing in Kuwait wanted by law along with other suspects for spreading the virus in 16 countries. CID investigators said based on international information the Cybercrime Department tracked the account of the 21-year-old Asian resident (a university student), and through further investigations, his place of residence was determined, and coordination was established with the 16 participating countries under the supervision of the Interpol, which set the zero hour last Thursday to arrest the members of the network, each in his country at the same time and found malicious programs, a large number of fake e-mails and private accounts.
During interrogation the Asian is said to have confessed to having committed some electronic hacking crimes several years ago, and has been referred to the competent authorities to take legal action against him. It is noteworthy to mention hear seven suspects who are in custody, according to media reports, have caused “about seven thousand hacking crimes” around the world with software that encrypts the data of their targets, and are said to have “requested more than 200 million Euros in ransom” in exchange for the decryption key, according to the European Police Agency. A security source told Al-Anba that the arrest of the accused came with the cooperation of other countries, including Britain and Japan, in addition to the Interpol and Europol, and after monitoring the suspect’s movements and phones for more than 8 months.