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Ten-Year-Old, 2 Million PC Botnet Finally Killed; Stole up to $100M USD

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April 18, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via the Daily Tech

Complaint has been issued against 13 foreign nationals, but there’s no promises they won’t get away with the loot

It took ten years, but the U.S. finally has killed a notorious botnet spread by an ever-evolving virus known as “Coreflood”. The botnet had been active since 2001, slowly building up an arsenal of 2 million computers worldwide, with the help of helper malware. It is responsible for stealing an estimated $100M USD worldwide from businesses and individuals.

A botnet is a group of infected machines that can be coordinated to steal information from the users of the machines. They can also be controlled to send malicious files, spam, phishing emails, or other unsavory contents.

The creators of Coreflood took special care in honing their attack package. What began as a trojan received over 100 updates, eventually gaining viral characteristics and the ability to steal passwords and credit card information.

The creators of the botnet used it as a vehicle to harvest information pertaining to bank accounts. Using that information they initiated thousands of fraudulent banking and wire transactions. A complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut reveals details of some of the losses — a real estate company in Michigan lost $115,771 USD, a South Carolina law firm lost $78,421 USD, and a Tennessee defense contractor lost $241,866 USD.

More here.