Mariposa Botnet Arrest via International Co-operation

Friday, August 06, 2010

Simon Heron


Our recent paper, The State of International Co-operation on Cybercrime, explored what the international community has done, or tried to do, to tackle the cybercrime issue.

It’s quite rare to have the opportunity to highlight a great example of international co-operation, but according to, a hacker responsible for one of the largest botnets ever created has been arrested thanks to an international effort.

The arrest comes months after Spanish police arrested three people, alleged to be the ringleaders of the operation.

The Mariposa botnet, which infected some 12 million computers and some HTC mobile devices, also impacted major banks and US Fortune 500 companies.

The virus allowed hackers to steal online banking and credit card details, as well as giving them access to other sensitive data.

This further arrest is a good example of what can be done when nations co-ordinate their fight against cybercrime, and it does serve as a warning to other hackers that their business is more risky than they may imagine.

However, at the moment the major ‘wins’ in the fight against cybercrime – at an international level – seem to be high profile attacks that target major corporations and financial institutions.

Which is somewhat inevitable given the work required to co-ordinate efforts across borders.

Somehow, this co-operation has to be encouraged and eased so that the vast number of smaller attacks which are businesses and home users can be dealt with.

Cross-posted from Network Box

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