Botnet-herding team arrested in Quebec

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Feb 22, 2008

Gang held for managing million-machine zombie net.

Canadian police have announced the arrests of up to 17 people in Quebec, in connection with a major botnet operation thought to have controlled as many as 1 million compromised systems all around the world.

The Quebec and national police were behind a series of raids across the province, described as 'the largest hacking scam in Canadian history'. Investigators have speculated the gang could have made as much as $45 million (Canadian) from their activities, and many of those arrested could face up to six years in jail for crimes including unauthorised access to computers.

More details are on local news site CBC.ca here or at VNUnet here.

In other botnet news, botnet monitoring project Shadowserver.org reported earlier this week that some of the networks they have been watching have launched major DDoS attacks on a wide range of gambling websites. The barrages took place over a week-long period and mainly targeted Russian sites, but many others including large mainstream sites were also hit.

While no reason for the surge in traffic has yet emerged, gambling websites are common targets for blackmail using such attacks and it seems likely that the bot controllers were testing or demonstrating the strength of their network prior to carrying out such a scheme. With the activity detected it appears that the command system has been successfully taken down. More details are in a Shadowserver blog entry here.

Posted on 22 February 2008 by Virus Bulletin

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