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The Ramnit botnet that is said to have affected 3.2 million computers has been shut down by European police, reports The BBC.
The botnet was used to spread malware through phishing emails and innocuous links posted on social networks, giving cybercriminals access to the bank accounts of users running Windows operating systems.
Having been alerted to Ramnit by Microsoft, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (ECC) teamed up with investigators and technology companies across the continent to tackle the botnet, including authorities in Britain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The combined forces managed to shut down seven servers used by the cybercriminals overnight.
“We worked together to shut down the command-and-control servers for the network in various countries across the European Union,” said Paul Gillen, head of operations at the ECC. “The criminals have lost control of the infrastructure they were using.”
Meanwhile Wil Van Gemert, Europol’s deputy director of operations, said the operation highlighted how law enforcement agencies and the private sector can work together to bring down cybercriminals.
Quoted in The Guardian, he said: “We will continue our efforts in taking down botnets and disrupting the core infrastructures used by criminals to conduct a variety of cybercrimes … our aim is to protect people around the world against these criminal activities.”
To learn more about botnets and how they spread, watch our video below.
Image: Robert Paul Van Beets / Shutterstock
Author Kyle Ellison, ESET