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UK police arrest two in connection with Zeus Trojan

Malware that steals online banking credentials believed to have infected tens of thousands of computers worldwide

UK police have arrested a pair of 20-year-olds in connection with the Zeus Trojan, malware that cybercriminals have been using extensively in recent months steal online banking credentials .

Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) arrested a man and a woman in Manchester on Nov. 3, police announced Wednesday. The pair was arrested on charges of violating the UK 1990 Computer Misuse Act and 2006 Fraud Act, police said. No other details about the case were released.

Police said the arrests were Europe's first in connection with Zeus Trojan, also called Zbot, which they said is believed to have infected tens of thousands of computers worldwide. In addition to stealing online banking credentials, the malware snatches passwords for social networking sites.

"Zeus poses a sizeable threat to the safe use of the Internet and is being used increasingly by cybercriminals worldwide – not simply those involved in this case," Metropolitan Police said in a statement announcing the arrests. "The arrests in connection with the malware represent some of the first in the world, and the first in Europe to combat the distribution and control of Zeus."

"Zbot (also known as Zeus) is a significant malware family - the many different variants of the Trojan in existence have been distributed in a variety of different disguises. If the police have made a positive step in unraveling the gang behind Zbot then that will be very good news for everyone interested in making the Internet a safer place," Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at antivirus supplier Sophos, wrote in a blog post about the Zeus arrests .

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