More than 100 hackers have been arrested for links to the malicious software called BlackShades in a global crackdown.
The FBI said the malware can be used to hijack computers and capture keystrokes without the victim knowing. Investigators said criminals have used it for everything from extortion to bank fraud.
Authorities said the BlackShades remote access tool has been sold since 2010 to several thousand users, generating sales of more than $350,000. The agency said one of the program's co-creators is cooperating and had provided extensive information.
BlackShades' owner, Alex Yucel, arrested in Moldova last November, is facing extradition to the United States. Michael Hogue, 23, of Maricopa, Arizona — the program's co-creator — had pleaded guilty in New York after his June 2012 arrest and is cooperating, Bharara said.
The malware lets hackers steal personal information, intercept keystrokes and hijack webcams to secretly record computer users. BlackShades also can be used to encrypt and lock computer data files, forcing people to pay a ransom to regain access.