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Cyber crooks nursing wounds after Reveton arrests and botnet takedowns

14 Feb 2013
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The war against cyber criminals is a tough one as they move quickly to mount ever more sophisticated campaigns that can rake in thousands everyday by targeting unsuspecting users.

However, the past two weeks have seen several notable victories for law enforcement agencies and IT firms, such as Microsoft and Symantec, after high-profile takedown and raids have landed a bloody nose on the crooks.

The Reveton ransomware was taken down late on Wednesday in a coordinated sting operation mounted by Europol and the Spanish Police, which saw 11 arrested.

This came after the Bamital botnet was forced offline earlier in February as a part of a joint operation between Microsoft, Symantec and local US law enforcement.

In the aftermath of this news, leading security firms have praised these effort and called for further takedown operations following the Reveton police ransomware and Bamital botnet stings.

Trend Micro security director Rik Ferguson claimed the takedown operations are a key example of how the public and private sector can work together to fight cyber crime.

"This co-ordinated activity leading directly to the arrest of individuals believed to be actively engaged in cybercrime, rather than simply taking down associated infrastructure, should serve as a model for how the security industry and law enforcement can fight online crime," he said.

"Trend Micro believes that enforcement activity which goes after the individuals responsible for committing the crime, rather than simply the infrastructure they use, will be more effective in the long-term."

F-Secure security chief Mikko Hypponen concurred, adding that the takedowns serve to deter other criminals attempting to begin their own cyber operations.

"We should aim to do takedowns of cybercriminals, as much as we can. Because if we don't, we would be sending exactly the wrong message to potential newcomers in this field," Hypponen told V3.

"If we can't do takedowns, we should try to sever the money traffic going to them, as much as we can. Squeeze it where it hurts."

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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