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Facebook aids FBI in cyber gang takedown

Criminal ring caused $850m in damages
Wed Dec 12 2012, 09:52
A Facebook logo

SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook played a role in the takedown of a crime ring that used malicious software to steal money and cause havoc.

Facebook worked with the US Department of Justice including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as well as a range of law enforcement organisations around the world.

Together their actions led to the arrests of 10 people from the UK, US, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, New Zealand, and Peru.

The crime ring was using the Yahos malware and Butterfly botnet to steal money and personal information. It is estimated that the 10 people arrested caused over $850m in losses through the botnet.

Facebook helped because Yahos had targeted its users between 2010 and 2012. Its security systems were able to locate affected accounts and remove the malware.

There was big money involved and a lot of investigators. According to the FBI the investigations called on field offices in Albany, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, El Paso, Honolulu, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New Haven, New Orleans, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Diego, San Juan, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington.

Also aiding were the Department of Justice's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and the US Attorney's Office for the District of Hawaii, the Western District of Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. In the UK the Serious Organised Crime Agency was also a partner.

Hardware has been seized in the raids. The authorities recommend that people keep their security software up to date and disconnect computers when not in use to avoid becoming victims. µ


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