Facebook helps FBI smash global 11 million-strong botnet

Facebook helps FBI smash global 11 million-strong botnet

Summary: Social network Facebook has assisted worldwide law enforcement agencies to crack a botnet that is thought to have infected 11 million machines, and raked in more than $850 million.

TOPICS: Security, Malware, Outage, PCs

The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI, with help from international law enforcement agencies, have arrested 10 suspects involved in a cybercrime ring related to a global botnet that infected more than 11 million machines worldwide.

The arrests came from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, New Zealand, Peru, the U.K. and the U.S., after numerous search warrants and interviews were executed.

According to the FBI, Facebook's security teams provided assistance to law enforcement and the U.S. Justice Dept. throughout the investigation to help identify the root cause of the botnet, the perpetrators, and which users were affected by the malware. Facebook has more than 1 billion monthly users on the social network.

With help from Facebook, the FBI found millions of machines were infected with variants of the Yahos malware, which targeted Facebook users from 2010-2012, which was linked to the Butterfly botnet, which steals credit card, bank details, and other personal identifiable information on infected machines.

It is thought to be one of the largest botnets and international criminal rings in history, raking in more than $850 million in total losses. The FBI did not elaborate on the details of the criminals' activities, however.

In July, Microsoft helped crack open the Zeus botnet crime ring, after the software giant released the names of suspects it believed were involved in infecting more than 13 million machines to steal upwards of $100 million.

Also earlier this year, a Facebook worm stole more than 45,000 Facebook login credentials from the site. Dubbed the Ramnit worm, most of those affected came from France and the U.K., and had the capability to infect Windows PCs, Office documents and HTML files.

(via Reuters)

Topics: Security, Malware, Outage, PCs

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  • Facebook helps FBI smash global 11 million-strong botnet

    kudos to the federal and civilian it gurus for mitigating the scourge of modern living...
  • Hmmm...

    Facebook seems to be helping the FBI do a lot of things lately, such as giving them your personal information.
  • Hmmm...

    Actually, all internet companies and phone companies give the FBI your information when requested- that's the law, for better or worse....
  • Facebook was the Cause

    It has always been apparent that FB is technically inept. They basically left the door unlocked inviting this type of unsavory element.
    • The Social Networks are the primary cause

      You're right Patrick
      The FBI stands nowadays for Federal Bureau of Incompetence.
      They don't even have doors anymore.
      Everything private or not is collected , all you type in every keystroke.
      And it's outputted via hadoop systems.
      Alas hardly anybody knows how to cope with it.
  • FB helps FBI to spy on people

    FaceBookIntelligence A 'legal' spy....

    Don't get me wrong, i don't like botnets, but that doesn't justify FB(I) to be a spy
    • if not fbi who?

      That's part of their job, is it not? My hat goes off to them. And it's about time they're getting some assistance from some of the mega corps. on the web (Microsoft, Facebook). Keep it up! Justice is served.