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Three M00P Hackers Arrested

Authorities in the U.K. and Finland said Tuesday that they had arrested three men suspected of being part of the M00P hacker gang, which has created and distributed numerous worms and Trojan horses for at least the last year.

The British Metropolitan Police's Computer Crime Unit, the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation, and the Finnish Pori Police Department combined to arrest the trio: a 63-year-old Suffolk man, a 28-year-old man in Scotland, and a 19-year-old man in Finland. Police in the two countries raided several residences and seized servers and other computers.

M00P has been linked to a number of worms and Trojans -- including Dogbot, Hackarmy.c, Santabot.a, Shuckbot.a,, and Tibick.a -- that have been used to hijack large numbers of computers to produce a botnet, said U.K.-based security vendor Sophos Tuesday.

The gang's name is also embedded in the Stinx Trojan, which was widely spammed to Internet users in mid-June 2005.

"It is always a welcome sign when an Internet gang has been disrupted, and we certainly congratulate the police for their work," said Ron O'Brien, a senior security analyst for Sophos, in a statement. "The sad fact is, however, that this is just the tip of the iceberg."

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