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.
According to court filings, Coreflood is a particularly harmful type of malicious software that records keystrokes and private communications on a computer. Once a computer is infected with Coreflood, it can be controlled remotely from another computer, known as a command and control (C C) server. A computer infected by Coreflood and subject to remote control is referred to as a ‘bot,’ short for ‘robot.’ According to information contained in court filings, the group of all computers infected with Coreflood is known as the Coreflood botnet, which is believed to have been operating for nearly a decade and to have infected more than two million computers worldwide.
Coreflood steals usernames, passwords and other private personal and financial information allegedly used by the defendants for a variety of criminal purposes, including stealing funds from the compromised accounts. In one example described in court filings, through the illegal monitoring of Internet communications between the user and the users bank, Coreflood was used to take over an online banking session and caused the fraudulent transfer of funds to a foreign account. (Source: U.S. Department of Justice)