‫ Microsoft frees two million PCs from criminal botnet

Number: IRCNE2013061879

Date: 2013/06/21
According to “itpro”, Microsoft claims to have battled an attack by one of the world's biggest cyber crime rings, freeing at least two million PCs infected with a virus believed to have been used to steal more than $500 million from bank accounts worldwide.
"We definitely have liberated at least two million PCs globally. That is a conservative estimate," Richard Domingues Boscovich, assistant general counsel with Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit, said in an interview on Tuesday.
He said the vast majority of infected machines were in the United States, Europe and Hong Kong.
Microsoft and the FBI, aided by authorities in more than 80 countries, on June 5 sought to take down 1,400 malicious computer networks known as the Citadel Botnets by severing their access to infected machines.
The ringleader, who goes by the alias Aquabox, and dozens of botnet operators remain at large and the authorities are working to uncover their identities. Boscovich said he suspects Aquabox is in Eastern Europe.
The botnets, which were run from "command and control" servers at data hosting centres around the world, were used to steal from hundreds of financial institutions, according to court documents that Microsoft filed to get permission to shut down servers in the US that were being used to run the operation.
The ring targeted firms of all sizes, from tiny credit unions to global banks such as Bank of America, Credit Suisse, HSBC and Royal Bank of Canada.
Citadel is one of the biggest botnets in operation today. Microsoft said its creator bundled thesoftware with pirated versions of the Windows operating system.
The Citadel software disables anti-virus programs on infected PCs so they cannot detect malicious software


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