The Metropolitan Police's Computer Crime Unit, the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation (NBI Finland) and the Finnish Pori Police Department, arrested a 63-year-old man in Suffolk, England, a 28-year-old man in Scotland and a 19-year-old man in Finland.
Suspected of being members of the M00P virus-writing gang, the three have been arrested in connection with a conspiracy to infect computers with malware.
The group is believed to have chosen the name of their group after an episode of the South Park cartoon series where the characters formed a band called "Moop." The episode involved some not-too-subtle arguments about how file sharing affects the music industry.
The group are believed to have written malware in order to create a zombie network (or botnet) of compromised computers under their control.
"The police in the U.K. and Finland should be congratulated for investigating this computer crime ring and breaking up the gang before it can do any more harm to innocent web surfers and businesses," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "It's great to see one less virus writing gang, but the sad fact is, however, that this is probably just the tip of the iceberg. More and more criminals around the globe are being tempted by the anonymity the internet offers to commit their crimes online. A strong message needs to be sent out that those who engage in malicious computer attacks will receive severe punishment."