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Authorities dismantle botnet with 13 million infected PCs

Half of Fortune 1000 touched

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One of the world's biggest botnets has been taken down, cracking open a global platform that infiltrated more than half of the Fortune 1000 companies, according to the Associated Press.

The take down came as authorities in Spain arrested three of the ringleaders of the the botnet, dubbed Mariposa. The suspects haven't been identified by name, but they're described as Spanish citizens with no criminal records whose internet names and ages were "netkairo," 31; "jonyloleante," 30; and "ostiator," 25.

The Mariposa botnet, which infected 12.7 million PCs, appeared in late 2008 and spread to more than 190 countries, the AP reported, citing researchers. The researchers that dismantled it first started looking at it in the spring of 2009.

Microsoft Vice President of Trustworthy Computing Scott Charney on Tuesday told attendees of the RSA security conference the corporate and government organizations "can manage the botnet risk ... because they have professional IT staff." Botnets such as Mariposa and even the less potent Zeus suggest otherwise.

The AP has much more here. ®

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