Facebook helps FBI shut down $850m botnet
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 12 Dec 2012 at 10:20
A global investigation that included Facebook security has shut down the so-called Butterfly Botnet, which hit 11 million computers and stole $850 million.
The FBI worked with the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency and other authorities around the world to arrest ten people for taking part in the attacks using a variant of malware called Yahos.
The malware attacked PCs, adding 11 million to the botnet, which in turn targeted bank accounts and credit card details.
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"Facebook’s security team provided assistance to law enforcement throughout the investigation by helping to identify the root cause, the perpetrators, and those affected by the malware," the FBI said in a statement. "Yahos targeted Facebook users from 2010 to October 2012, and security systems were able to detect affected accounts and provide tools to remove these threats."
Aside from the UK, arrests were made in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, New Zealand, Peru, and the United States.
Separately, the Police Central e-Crime Unit arrested three people for running a "ransomware" attack that used police logos.
"Once infected, the computer suddenly stops working and a holding screen, known as a "splash page", is displayed," the police agency said. "The splash page features police logos usually including that of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) or the PCeU and purports to be an official notice from these organisations."
"It states that the victim's online activities have been monitored by police and that they have been identified as committing offences online," it added. "They are instructed to pay a fine - usually £100 by electronic payment - in order for their computer to operate again."
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