US takes out Coreflood botnet

The US Department of Justice and FBI said today they had filed a civil complaint, executed criminal warrants, and a temporary restraining order as part of what they called the most comprehensive enforcement action ever taken by US authorities to disable an international botnet.

The target of this massive effort is Coreflood, which the DOJ labels a particularly harmful type of malicious software that records keystrokes and private communications mostly on Windows computers.

More on FBI cases: FBI wants public help solving encrypted notes from murder mystery

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, the FBI said. 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.

The DOJ said the botnet’s operators would send out new versions of the malware are on a regular basis, in an effort to stay ahead of security software and other virus updates.  If the servers didn’t respond, the existing Coreflood malware continued to run on the victim’s computer, collecting personal and financial information.

From the FBI: The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut has filed a civil complaint against 13 “John Doe” defendants, alleging that the defendants engaged in wire fraud, bank fraud and illegal interception of electronic communications.  In addition, search warrants were obtained for computer servers throughout the country , and a seizure warrant was obtained in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut for 29 domain names.  Finally, the government obtained a temporary restraining order, authorizing the government to respond to signals sent from infected computers in the United States in order to stop the Coreflood software from running, thereby preventing further harm to hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting users of infected computers in the United States.

The FBI and DOJ said they have replaced the illegal Coreflood servers with substitute servers to prevent Coreflood from causing further injury to the owners and users of infected computers and other third parties. “By limiting the defendants ability to control the botnet, computer security providers will be given time to update their virus signatures and malicious software removal tools so that all victims can have a reliable tool available to them that removes the latest version of the malware from an infected computer,” the FBI said.

Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securitysoftware

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Cooney

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?