The Imminent Monitor Remote Access Trojan (IM-RAT) spyware was taken down in an operation coordinated by Europol and Eurojust.

As a result, the hacking tool can no longer be used by those who bought it.

The investigation was led by the Australian Federal Police. Actions were undertaken in Australia, Colombia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The RAT spyware gives criminals free access to the victim’s computer.

“It is also important to remember that some basic steps can prevent you falling victim to such spyware: we continue to urge the public to ensure their operating systems and security software are up to date”, said Steven Wilson, head of Europol’s European cybercrime centre.

Experts are now identifying evidence of stolen personal details, passwords, private photographs, video footage and data. It is believed that there are tens of thousands of victims.