News Column

Judge lets US intercept info from hacked computers

June 3, 2014

JOE MANDAK, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) A federal judge in Pittsburgh has issued a court order that lets the Justice Department continue to intercept information from 350,000 computers known to be infected with a data-stealing virus being spread by an alleged Russian computer hacker and his conspirators.

Justice attorneys told the judge Tuesday that affected computers will remain linked to a substitute internet server provided by the government. Information gathered from those computers can then be shared with internet service providers and government computer policing agencies, which can alert owners of infected computers.

The hackers, allegedly led by a 30-year-old Russian man, infected computers with malicious software that captured bank account information used to drain millions of dollars from victims' bank accounts, or another program that locked computer files until ransom payments of several hundred dollars per computer were made.

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Source: Associated Press

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