AFP traps alleged RAT developer

An Australian man and a man based in the US will appear in court, following an international investigation into the creation and sale of a global Remote Access Trojan (RAT).
25 April 2024
Image by CyberBeat

An Australian man was recently apprehended by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for supposedly creating and selling a remote access trojan (RAT), dubbed 'Firebird', on a hackers' platform. This software empowers users to inconspicuously take over another individual’s device. 

The accused will face the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on May 7, charged with 12 computer offences linked to 'Firebird.'

As part of the investigation led by the FBI in the US, an alleged co-offender based in Los Angeles was charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of advertising a device as an interception device.

The Australian was charged with 10 counts of data supply with intent to carry out a computer offence, nine in collaboration with the man from the US. Additionally, he faces charges of producing data and controlling data with the aim to perpetrate a computer crime. Each offence carries a maximum three-year jail term.

AFP's acting commander cybercrime, Sue Evans, characterises RATs as among the most damaging online cyber threats. A RAT can grant criminals complete access and control over a device, enabling them to commit crimes undetected, monitor victims, erase hard drives or steal banking credentials, among other things.

The FBI and the US Attorney's Office for the Central District of California extended substantial aid to the AFP's investigation, which began in 2020. As part of the coordinated operation, the FBI arrested the alleged co-offender based in Los Angeles.

- CyberBeat


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