FBI seizes Warzone RAT infrastructure, arrests malware vendor

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The FBI dismantled nan Warzone RAT malware operation, seizing infrastructure and arresting 2 individuals associated pinch nan cybercrime operation.

Daniel Meli, 27, a resident of Malta, was arrested past week for his domiciled successful nan proliferation of Warzone RAT (aka 'AveMaria'), a distant entree trojan pinch a agelong history of usage successful cybercrime.

Warzone RAT is commodity malware created successful 2018 that offers galore features to assistance cybercrime, including UAC bypass, hidden distant desktop, cooky and password stealing, keylogging, webcam recording, record operations, reverse proxy, distant shell, and process management.

The Malta constabulary arrested Meli at nan petition of nan U.S. rule enforcement authorities, who issued an indictment against him connected December 12, 2023.

The accusations interest offenses of unauthorized harm to protected computers, illegally trading and advertizing an physics interception device, and participating successful a conspiracy to perpetrate respective machine intrusion offenses. 

Meli was arrested connected February 7, 2024, during a coordinated cognition carried retired by nan Malta Police Force, nan Office of nan Attorney General of Malta, and supported by nan U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and nan FBI.

At nan aforesaid time, Federal authorities successful Boston seized 4 domains connected to Warzone RAT, including "warzone.ws," which was nan malware's superior website.

Seizure noticeSeizure notice (BleepingComputer)

A 2nd indictment issued by a national expansive assemblage successful nan District of Massachusetts connected January 30, 2024, targets Prince Onyeoziri Odinakachi, 31, of Nigeria, who is accused of providing customer support to cybercriminals buying entree to Warzone RAT.

Odinakachi was arrested successful Nigeria connected February 7, simultaneously pinch Meli's apprehension and nan takedown of nan malware's trading domains.

Apart from nan arrests and seizure of nan sites, nan world rule enforcement effort led by nan FBI besides resulted successful identifying and confiscating server infrastructure linked to nan malware, including successful Canada, Croatia, Finland, Germany, nan Netherlands, and Romania.

The U.S. DoJ announcement chiefly implicates Meli successful nan distribution and customer support for nan malware, truthful it is unclear if he is nan original writer aliases creator of nan Warzone RAT, successful which case, he would person developed it astatine nan property of 21.

The announcement says that nan man engaged arsenic a seller successful nan abstraction since astatine slightest 2012, erstwhile astatine nan property of 15, trading hacking ebooks and nan Pegasus RAT for nan relationship of a criminal ringing known arsenic 'Skynet-Corporation.'

Meli faces a full of 15 years successful situation pinch 3 years of supervised merchandise and fines of $500,000 aliases doubly nan gross summation aliases nonaccomplishment (whichever is greater) for nan charges against him.

The Northern District of Georgia is seeking nan extradition of Daniel Meli from Malta to nan United States, wherever he will guidelines trial.