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FBI, foreign partners target botnet

Washington, April 9 – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force-International Cyber Crime Coordination Cell (IC4) has coordinated with Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT), and the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit, along with private sector partners in a targeted takedown of the Beebone (also known as AAEH) botnet. Beebone acted as a “downloader,” which installed other forms of malicious software on victims’ computers without their consent or knowledge. The secondary infections installed by Beebone include software that steals banking logins and passwords, as well as fradulent anti-virus software and ransomware.

Investigators are in the process of determining the number of victims in the United States and around the world that have been impacted by this botnet.

The FBI, working with foreign partners, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section within the Department of Justice have seized approximately 100 domain names used by the botnet.

As a result of the court-authorized domain seizures, computers infected with Beebone will no longer report to the criminals responsible for the infection. Instead, infected computers will be redirected to a sinkhole server operated by EC3, which will facilitate victim identification and remediation.

“Botnets like Beebone have victimized users worldwide, which is why a global law enforcement team approach working with the private sector is so important," FBI Assistant Director for Cyber Joseph Demarest, Jr. said. "The FBI is proud to join with our partners at Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT), and the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unite to defeat malicious botnets that have the potential to impact thousands.”



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