Feeds

Monster botnet held 800,000 people's details

Fourth zombie admin could be in South America

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Mariposa botnet had the power to dwarf Georgia and Estonia cyberattacks if it had been used to launch denial of service attacks, say Spanish police.

Months of investigations by the Guardia Civil in Spain, the FBI and security firm Panda Security and Defence Intelligence led to the takedown of the 12.7 million strong zombie network in December and the arrest of three suspects in Spain two months later.

At a press conference announcing the operation in Madrid on Wednesday, Spanish police said they recovered the personal details of 800,000 people from systems recovered from three alleged cybercriminals. This cache of stolen information includes bank login credentials from businesses and consumers as well as email passwords.

Three Spanish residents suspected of running the botnet have been charged with online offences: the most senior alleged botmaster, nicknamed “Netkairo”, 31, from Balmaseda in the spanish province of Vizcaya, as well as his two alleged lieutenants JPR, 30, from Molina de Segura Murcia and JBR, 25, from Santiago de Compostela in La Coruña. None of the suspects have been named at this stage of proceedings.

In a statement (in Spanish here), Guardia Civil officers said they were also on the trail of a fourth suspect nicknamed Phoenix, who's possibly based in Venezuela.

Defence Intelligence discovered the botnet last May and formed a team that brought in security experts from Bilbao-based Panda and computer scientists at Georgia Tech Information Security Center. Security researchers infiltrated the botnet's command and control systems, learning enough to mount a successful takedown operation in cooperation with ISPs on 23 December.

Netkairo responded to this by launching a retaliatory denial of service attack against Defence Intelligence that took out customers at a Canadian ISP for several hours. In wrestling to obtain control of the botnet he made the mistake of connecting to compromised systems using his home PC, a mistake that led to his identification (as explained in our earlier story on the takedown operation).

Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, explains the Mariposa botnet's business model and the takedown operation in a video below. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?