Police have launched raids against 170 suspected cyber-criminals across Germany and in the Netherlands, France and Canada, German authorities said Wednesday, announcing the arrest of a 22-year-old chief suspect.
The coordinated multi-national raids by some 700 police early Tuesday targeted “globally active hackers and a variety of Internet criminals,” said prosecutors and police in the western city of Koblenz.
In one of the 175 dawn raids on homes and businesses, they arrested a second suspect who was found to be in the possession of several kilograms of illegal drugs and weapons, they said in a statement.
The hackers had offered illicit services such as camouflaging malware from anti-virus programs in order to steal online passwords and banking data and commit crimes ranging from fraud to extortion.
The chief suspect was arrested in the western German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, the statement said, adding that police in the other searches had confiscated some 300 computers and disks.