There is so much bad news about Internet and Computer security (or the lack thereof) that it can be depressing to Internet users. However, I’m happy to report another milestone has been reached in the war on cybercrime. Kudos to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for placing emphasis on cybercrime, manning up their staffs with trained, capable cybercrime agents, and for their outside-the-box approach in their pursuit and arrest of the Coreflood botnet…and protecting our computer security.
Cybercrime organizations have made a laughing-stock of Internet security in recent years, and until the last couple of years, governments around the world have not been very effective in fighting cybercriminal activity. Until recently, that is.
A global cooperative effort between first world law enforcement organizations, major technology companies such as Microsoft, and several leading computer security companies, have launched several successful attacks and have stopped several botnets that had infected tens of millions of computers.
A botnet, simply stated, is a complex system of malware consisting of centrally controlled malicious programs placed on victims’ computers. These “bots” then perform various functions at the bidding of one or more central computers controlled by cybercriminals, including stealing your identity, your banking account information and funds, as was the case with the Coreflood botnet.
Previous tactics to attack these botnets has been to locate the central computers and shut them down. However, the bots remained on the victims’ computers and available to the cybercriminal organizations after they set up new controlling computers. However, this latest victory by the FBI included a new approach.
They not only shut down the central controlling computers, they took control of the botnet and “killed” each bot residing on victims’ computers. Brilliant out-of-the-box thinking…very cool indeed.
The bottom line here is that law enforcement has just scratched the surface in their war with the cybercrime organizations across the globe…there are many, many botnets to address. However, we have gone from a defensive, recovery based strategy to a proactive search and destroy approach that’s very heartening to this author. A ray of hope, for sure.
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Home computing is a blast…keep it safe, productive and enjoyable.