Microsoft engages cybergang that stole $500 million
Microsoft has orchestrated the bust-up of another top-tier botnet operation.
These bad guys – operators of the sprawling Citadel botnet — make the fictional band of sophisticated thieves from the movie Ocean’s 11 look like amateurs. Authorities estimate they’ve scored more than $500 million from banks in the United States and abroad by accessing online accounts and rerouting funds.
The software giant and the FBI, working with law enforcement and tech officials from some 80 countries, knocked out 1,000 of 1,400 of the Citadel botnets.
A botnet is a collection of hundreds to thousands of infected PCs that respond to commands routed through a command-and-control server, which is also an infected PC.
The bad guys running Citadel commanded as many as 5 million infected PCs, making Citadel one of the biggest botnet operations. Botnets are the engins that drive cybercrime. They fuel spam, denial of service attacks and cyberespionage. And they are used in big operations, like Citadel, to systematically hijack online financial accounts. Read More