Worldwide cyber-crime network hit in coordinated raids

BERLIN One of the world’s biggest networks of hijacked computers, which is suspected of being used to attack online banking customers, has been taken down following police swoops in 10 countries, German police said on Thursday.

In an internationally coordinated campaign, authorities carried out the raids on Wednesday, seized servers and website domains and arrested suspected leaders of a criminal organization, said police and prosecutors in northern Germany.

Officials said they had seized 39 servers and several hundred thousand domains, depriving criminals of control of more than 50,000 computers in Germany alone. These hijacked computers were used to form a “botnet” to knock out other websites.

Two people who are believed to have been the administrators of the botnet infrastructure known as “AVALANCHE” were arrested in Ukraine, investigators said. Another person was arrested in Berlin, officials added.

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