German police have shut down a message board used by hackers.
The www.codesoft.cc forum was being used by hackers to exchange information about malware, spying and the creation of fake credit cards, according to investigators at the Landeskriminalamt police internet crime unit in the Baden-Württemberg region.
A 22-year-old Swiss man from Lucerne is suspected of being the administrator of the forum, and was accused of selling password stealing software under the disguise of his online handle ‘tr1p0d'.
Two further men, aged 25 and 28, from the Black Forest and German federal state of Lower Saxony are suspected to have infected some 80,000 computers worldwide with tr1p0d's ‘Codesoft PW Stealer' password-stealing Trojan, and to have sold the data to other hackers.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: "Obviously the authorities will be keen to identify victims as they put their case against the suspects together, and the public are being reminded of the importance of changing their passwords if they have been compromised. Whether this investigation will act as a wake-up call to other internet forums that are playing with fire remains to be seen."