Cops Bust Giant PC Virus Ring

A massive crackdown was launched after more than 13million PCs in over 190 countries were hijacked.

The gang swiped personal and financial data from more than 800,000 individuals across the globe.

They took control of infected computers — dubbed Zombies — and nicked details of email accounts, electronic banking services and corporate networks.

It is feared the info could have been used to launch a giant cyber attack or sold to organised gangs.

The Civil Guard and FBI agents teamed up to arrest three Spaniards who allegedly masterminded the scheme.

They began working together after being alerted to the virus — nicknamed Butterfly — last year.

Computers, equipment and info related to the individuals targeted were seized during the arrests.

A source revealed: "Butterfly was spotted last May by a Canadian firm.

"The FBI opened an investigation and drafted in Spanish police after discovering a Spaniard was involved.

"A co-ordinated probe was launched in a bid to find out who was behind the virus.

"The gang infected computers with a malicious programme which then gave them complete control of the computer.

"These 'Zombies' were all linked to a master computer which gave them instructions.

"They were told to steal a variety of personal information which was then relayed back to the command unit."

The trio — aged 25, 30 and 31-years-old — were arrested at addresses across Spain.

A fourth individual — nicknamed Phoenix — is being hunted in South America.

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