Microsoft teams up with FBI to crack $500m crime ring

 

New York

The Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US, with the help of Microsoft and authorities spread across numerous countries, has cracked down on vast crime ring that used an array of malicious computer networks to commit more than half a billion dollars worth of bank fraud.

The technology giant, working with law enforcement and partners in the financial services industry, helped take down more than 1,400 botnets, or networks of computers infected with malicious software know as malware. Once installed, the malware, called Citadel, would monitor and record the victim’s keyboard commands. This allowed the cybercriminals behind the nefarious software to record personal identity information and gain access to bank accounts.

According to Microsoft, the Citadel malware “has affected upwards of five million people” in places as far apart as the US, Singapore, India, Australia and Europe. “The harm done by Citadel shows the threat that botnets, malicious software, and piracy pose to individuals and businesses around the world,” Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith said.

The action came after Microsoft filed a civil case against the alleged operators of the Citadel botnets last week and received the all-clear from a US Court to cut off communication between the botnets. The alleged criminals were only identified in the court documents as “John Does,” indicating that authorities are yet to track down the operators.

“[These] actions represent the future of addressing the significant risks posed to our citizens, businesses, and intellectual property by cyber threats and malicious software, which are often enabled by counterfeit and unlicensed software,” Richard McFeely, the FBI’s executive assistant director, said.

“We must ensure that, as cyber policy is developed, the ability of the private sector to coordinate in real time with the FBI is encouraged so that a multi-prong attack on our cyber adversaries can be as effective as possible.”

Despite the vast, coordinated crackdown, Microsoft said that given the extent of the criminal operation it is likely some botnets using the Citadel malware are likely to remain in action.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Sales Director, Media Sponsorship

    £60000 - £65000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A globally successful media and ...

    Head of Affiliate Sales for Emerging Markets

    competitive + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Are you looking for your next role ...

    Graduate / Junior C# Developer

    £18000 - £25000 Per Annum + bonus and benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

    Brand Engagement Manager - TV

    £45000 - £55000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is your chance to join a gl...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits