Spanish police working with the FBI and other police forces have arrested three suspects for running world’s biggest computer hacking scam through a bots network called Mariposa.
This is a crucial win for security experts over hackers and a relief to millions of people who use internet everyday. The network of mariposa botnet is spread around 190 countries infecting over 12.7 million computers. These included computers of the US Fortune 1000 companies to computers of major banks. Spanish police reported the recovery of details like bank account details, credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, etc., of over 800,000 people. The amount of loss due to this botnet network is yet to be determined.
Mariposa is a Spanish word for butterfly. It was announced as a new botnet by Defence Intelligence in May 2009. This bot is known to spread through crucial vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer as well as contaminated USB sticks. It is very hard to nab creators of botnet as these criminals operate disguising the source of their Internet traffic or through an infected computer (called zombie) belonging to another person. It seems that it is the blunder made by one of the operators of mariposa – forgetting to conceal their IP address – that helped Spanish police to catch this gang.
The infected computers still remain tainted. The worst part is that most of the owners are still not aware that their computer is a botnet. Use a reliable, robust and updated version of antivirus solution in your PC to detect any traces of botnet.
Read more about Botnet and PC security here.