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FBI and Ukranian Secret Service SBU fighting Cyber Criminals in Kiev.

Photo of VX Heavens "About Us) used in Facebook.

Ukrainian authorities have shut down a long-running forum that was used to trade tips on writing malicious software, a sign the country’s law enforcement may be watching hackers more closely.

Administrators for the forum, VX Heavens, wrote that its serverswere seized on March 23 for allegedly creating and intending to sell malicious software programs, a violation of Ukraine’s criminal code.

VX Heavens might have been easy pickings for Ukraine, which has been noted by computer security experts as being a hotbed of cybercrime.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for security vendor Sophos, wrote that VX Heavensoperated for many years, hosting virus-writing tutorials and malicious code samples. But the site is likely just a small player in an expansive cybercriminal underground.

“The folks using the VX Heavens website were probably not in the same league as the financially-motivated organized criminals computer users are often troubled by today, and mirror rather more the hobbyist malware authors of yesteryear,” Cluley wrote.

“Nevertheless, it’s clear that the Ukrainian authorities didn’t like what they saw and have confiscated the website’s servers in their hunt for evidence of criminality,” he wrote.

Last June the Ukranian security service, the SBU, said it  busted a cybercrimew ringthat stole some US$72 million using Conficker, a fast-spreading worm that appeared in 2008.

Since October 2009, the FBI has stationed a supervisory special agent at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev to assist with cybercrime investigations that target the U.S.