Security experts at Symantec aided authorities during their investigation, providing technical information on the malware's infrastructure and command-and-control servers, Kevin Haley, director of Symantec Security Response, told SCMagazine.com in a Monday interview.
While BlackShades wasn't the only RAT on the market, its ease of use may have had a big impact on its popularity.
“It's pretty point-and-click and it doesn't take a lot of technical skill [to use],” Haley said. “It's going to allow you to get malware on the system and it will give you control over anything and everything you want it to do on that system.”
In Monday press conference Taddeo said that the recent arrests should serve as a warning to cyber criminals.
“If you think you can hide behind your computer screen – think again,” Taddeo said. “Just like in the physical world, the FBI will follow the digital trail to your doorstep. If you think operating in a foreign country puts you out of reach – think again. We have many law enforcement partners around the world who are with us in this right. If we can't reach you, they can.”
Taddeo went on to add that the malicious software was purchased by thousands of individuals in more than 100 countries, leading to hundreds of thousands of infected machines.
Following Monday's announcement of the international effort, Troy Gill, senior security analyst at AppRiver, said that he believes there will be a drop of in BlackShades use.
“Any cyber criminals still using [it] will likely turn towards other forms of malware as the continued use of BlackShades will pose an inherent risk of getting caught,” Gill said in an email statement sent to SCMagazine.com Monday.
With 17 countries in on the investigative and judicial processes, Ed Stroz, executive chairman and co-founder at computer forensic consulting firm Stroz Friedberg, said he believes that the international effort is a massive success.
“That kind of cooperation requires bridges that are built in advanced between the legal process and international investigations,” Stroz told SCMagazine.com in a Monday interview. “For something this big and for this many countries, this would take quite a bit of work. I think this is pretty impressive in the time.”