Ten people were arrested for stealing $850 million through the Butterfly Botnet, which included more than 11 million infected computers, according to the FBI. Cyber-criminals mainly targeted Facebook users with the â€œYahosâ€ malware to steal their credit card, bank account, and other personal details.
â€œFacebookâ€™s security team provided assistance to law enforcement throughout the investigation by helping to identify the root cause, the perpetrators, and those affected by the malware,â€ FBI representatives said in a press release. â€œYahos targeted Facebook users from 2010 to October 2012, and security systems were able to detect affected accounts and provide tools to remove these threats.â€
This is the second major outbreak of botnets based on the Butterfly (aka Mariposa) bot tool, according to Ars Technica. The first variant was discovered in December 2008 and shut down a year later, after infecting more than 12 million PCs through file-sharing and instant messaging.
Police recommended that computer users update their applications and operating system on a regular basis and perform regular antivirus scanning. Computer users who believe they are victims of the Butterfly Botnet may still file a complaint with the FBIâ€™s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
In July, around 18 percent of global spam was halted after the Grum botnetâ€™s command and control servers in the Netherlands and Panama were blocked. Though cyber-crooks set up seven new centers in Russia and the Ukraine, security experts believed it was unlikely this version of the botnet would surface any time soon.
A robot network or a botnet is a collection of compromised computer systems connected to the Internet which have been breached and controlled by cyber-criminals. Botnets are mainly used for DDoS attacks, spam and malware campaigns.