Law enforcement authorities today announced the arrest of three men accused of using a million-strong botnet of hijacked computers for spam-related crime.
The FBI said its "Operation Bot Roast" identified more than one million victim computer IP addresses being used in criminal activity.
"The FBI is working with our industry partners, including the Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University, to notify the victim owners of the computers. Through this process the FBI may uncover additional incidents in which botnets have been used to facilitate other criminal activity," according to a statement from the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
The FBI said botnets, which have been used in massive distributed denial-of-service attacks, "are a growing threat to national security, the national information infrastructure, and the economy."
Details on the arrests:
- James C. Brewer of Arlington, Texas, is alleged to have operated a botnet that infected Chicago area hospitals. This botnet infected tens of thousands of computers worldwide.
- Jason Michael Downey of Covington, Kentucky, is charged with using botnets to send a high volume of traffic to intended recipients to cause damage by impairing the availability of such systems.
- Robert Alan Soloway of Seattle, Washington, is alleged to have used a large botnet network and spammed tens of millions of unsolicited email messages to advertise his website from which he offered services and products.
* Graphic above from Computer Knowledge's description of how a botnet works.