A collaborative effort between the US Department of Justice (DoJ), the FBI [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9], and international law enforcement agencies [4] [8], including Europol [4], has resulted in the arrest and indictment of two individuals involved in cybercrime. This article provides a detailed description of the charges and actions taken against Daniel Meli [1] [2] [3] [4] [6] [7] [8] and Prince Onyeoziri Odinakachi.


Daniel Meli, from Malta [1] [3], has been charged with selling malware products and offering teaching tools on hacking forums since 2012 [1]. The US is seeking his extradition [1]. Prince Onyeoziri Odinakachi [1] [2] [3] [4] [6] [7] [8], from Nigeria [1] [3], has been charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion offenses and providing online customer support for Warzone RAT users [1]. Both individuals were charged with unauthorized damage to protected computers and participating in a conspiracy to commit computer intrusion offenses [5].

The operation successfully dismantled a strain of Windows-based malware called “Warzone,” also known as Ave Maria, which targeted thousands of consumers [6]. The main website that sold the malware [6], warzone.ws [6] [7], along with three related domains [6] [7], was seized by the Justice Department [6] [7]. Warzone was sold for $37.95 per month and allowed attackers to remotely hijack Windows PCs [6] [7].

The FBI covertly purchased and analyzed the Warzone malware after it was discovered infecting computers in Massachusetts [6] [7]. In addition to the arrests, the operation also led to the seizure of the domains used to sell the malware [2]. Warzone enabled criminals to access victim file systems [4], take screenshots [4] [5], record keystrokes [4] [5], steal usernames and passwords [4] [5], and even activate webcams without the victim’s knowledge [5].

The coordinated operation involved assistance from authorities in Canada [5], Croatia [9], Finland [9], Germany [9], the Netherlands [9], and Romania [9], who helped secure the servers hosting the Warzone infrastructure [9]. If convicted [6] [7], both suspects could face a decade or more in prison [6] [7].


This successful operation highlights the commitment of international law enforcement agencies to combat cybercrime. By dismantling the Warzone malware and arresting those responsible, the authorities have protected thousands of consumers from potential harm. However, the case also serves as a reminder of the ongoing threat posed by cybercriminals and the need for individuals and organizations to remain vigilant. Specialized security software [4], such as Bitdefender Ultimate Security [4], can help prevent RATs and other digital threats from harming devices and data [4].


[1] https://www.newsbytesapp.com/news/science/us-authorities-arrest-cybercriminals-selling-warzone-rat-malware-service/story
[2] https://www.techradar.com/pro/security/the-us-government-says-it-has-seized-and-taken-down-the-dangerous-warzone-rat-malware
[3] https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/us-dismantles-warzone-rat-malware/
[4] https://www.bitdefender.com/blog/hotforsecurity/us-justice-department-dismantles-warzone-rat-two-arrested/
[5] https://thehackernews.com/2024/02/us-doj-dismantles-warzone-rat.html
[6] https://uk.pcmag.com/security/150850/feds-take-down-warzone-malware-arrest-two-alleged-sellers
[7] https://me.pcmag.com/en/security/21943/feds-take-down-warzone-malware-arrest-two-alleged-sellers
[8] https://securityaffairs.com/158987/cyber-crime/warzone-rat-operation-dismantled.html
[9] https://www.globalsecurity.org/security/library/news/2024/02/sec-240209-doj01.htm