Authorities have taken down the Imminent Monitor Remote Access Trojan (IM-RAT) that used by cybercriminals to gain full control over the victim’s computer.
The investigation was lead by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and coordinated by Europol and Eurojust. The operation targets the sellers and customers who purchased the IM-RAT.
As a result of the investigation, authorities have taken down the Imminent Monitor infrastructure and arrested more than 13 users who involved in the development of the RAT. Authorities seized more than 430 devices and the investigation is still going on.
Authorities said that the “actions were undertaken this week in the framework of this operation in the following countries: Australia, Colombia, Czechia, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.”
Imminent Monitor Tool Availability
The tool was used across 124 countries and more than 14,500 users purchased the RAT, as the authorities have taken down the infrastructure now the tool turns unusual for the users who brought it.
The RAT is a powerful tool, it gets installed to the victim’s computer silently and provides cybercriminals full control of the victim’s machine. Also, it carries out a various function such as
- Disabling anti-virus and anti-malware Softwares
- Recording Keystores
- spy on victims
- steal personal data
- Login Credentials
- Grabs Screenshots
That RAT was sold on dark web forums for just US$25, Steven Wilson, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), said that “with just a click of the mouse, access your details or photographs of loved ones or even spy on you.”
The tool was created in 2013, it was initially advertised as a legitimate tool, but on another hand, it was distributed on hacking forums for certain niche users.
The Imminent RAT was used by cybercriminals in several campaigns that target financial institutions. It is one of the top ten malware strain advertised in Underground hacking Forums.
“The cybercriminals selling and using the IM-RAT affected the computers of tens of thousands of victims worldwide. We would like to thank all the judicial and law enforcement authorities involved for the excellent results achieved in this operation. These authorities have shown an extremely high level of commitment and legal and technical expertise.” said Daniela Buruiana, National Member for Romania Cybercrime Team.