WASHINGTON - Today the Department of Justice and FBI announced the filing of a civil complaint, the execution of criminal seizure warrants, and the issuance of a temporary restraining order as part of the most complete and comprehensive enforcement action ever taken by U.S authorities to disable an international botnet.
The botnet is a network of hundreds of thousands of computers infected with a malicious software program known as Coreflood, which installs itself by exploiting a vulnerability in computers running Windows operating systems. Coreflood allows infected computers to be controlled remotely for the purpose of stealing private personal and financial information from unsuspecting computer users, including users on corporate computer networks, and using that information to steal funds.
“The seizure of the Coreflood servers and Internet domain names is expected to prevent criminals from using Coreflood or computers infected by Coreflood for their nefarious purposes,” said U.S. Attorney David B. Fein for the District of Connecticut. “I want to commend our industry partners for their collaboration with law enforcement to achieve this great result.”
“The actions announced today are part of a comprehensive effort by the department to disable an international botnet, while at the same time giving consumers the ability to take necessary steps to protect themselves from this harmful malware,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division. “Law enforcement will continue to use innovative and responsible actions in our fight against cyber criminals and at the same time, we urge consumers to ensure they are continually taking prudent measures to guard against harm, including routinely updating anti-virus security protection.”
“Botnets and the cyber criminals who deploy them jeopardize the economic security of the United States and the dependability of the nation’s information infrastructure,” said Shawn Henry, Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch. “These actions to mitigate the threat posed by the Coreflood botnet are the first of their kind in the United States and reflect our commitment to being creative and proactive in making the Internet more secure.”