A huge botnet tied to 80 different malware families has been halted by an international task force that includes Europol, the FBI, and agencies from Germany, Australia, Belarus, Canada, Montenegro, Singapore and Taiwan. The botnet, dubbed Andromeda, had been used to execute numerous financial scams.
Botnets, which are huge networks of infected computers that let hackers take control without computer owners’ knowledge, are set up to conduct wide-reaching cyberattacks. As botnets go, Andromeda was legendary: Dale Walker of ITPro describes it as one of the largest ever; Reuters, quoting a spokesman for Europol writes, “Andromeda was one of the oldest malwares on the market.”
In its course of business, Andromeda spread malware using an army of two million infected devices, according to Walker. He adds that it “was detected or blocked on an average of one million devices every month.”
The suspect at the center of the bust was accused of being responsible for a criminal network tied to Andromeda. According to Reuters, authorities in Belarus, where the accused hacker was arrested, said the man charged other cyber criminals $500 for each copy of Andromeda he sold to launch cyberattacks, and $10 for subsequent software updates. In addition, Reuters reports that “Microsoft said the Andromeda crime kit charged $150 for a keylogger to copy keystrokes to steal user names and passwords. And for $250, it offered modules to steal data from forms submitted by web browsers, or the capacity to spy on victims using remote control software….”
Read the full story at Reuters.