All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

Microsoft and FBI take down $500m Citadel botnet

06 Jun 2013
malware virus security threat breach

Microsoft and the FBI have taken down a botnet that controlled millions of infected PCs, which was responsible for more than $500m in bank fraud.

The botnet, dubbed Citadel, consisted of more than 1,400 instances located the US, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and China. The Citadel malware was used to install key-logging tools on victims' PCs, stealing their online bank credentials.

Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel, said: “The harm done by Citadel shows the threat that botnets, malicious software, and piracy pose to individuals and businesses around the world."

Microsoft first began tracking the Citadel botnet in early 2012, working with financial services firms and law agencies, including the FBI, to instigate the co-ordinated takedown.

Last week it filed a civil suit against the botnet controllers in a US District Court in North Carolina. Yesterday Microsoft officials, along with US Marshals, seized servers from data centres in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as part of the effort.

FBI executive assistant director Richard McFeely said: “[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."

According to Microsoft, those behind Citadel spread the malware using pirated Windows XP product keys, which it claims demonstrates the links between software piracy and cybercrime.

Microsoft also admitted that it does not expect to have wiped out the Citadel botnet fully, simply because of its sheer size. But it expects to be able to use the seized equipment to help strengthen its defences against future attacks.

The software titan has taken a more aggressive stance against botnets in recent times, launching several takedown campaigns. Earlier this year, it disrupted the Bamital botnet, believed to have infected thousands of PCs, which were used to conduct click fraud on a massive scale. Other attempts to counter the 'bot herders' have seen Microsoft sinkhole the Kehlios botnet, although new versions have subsequently re-emerged.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
More on Security
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

BYOD vs CYOD vs BYOC poll

Which approach is your firm taking to managing employees' mobile devices?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
Galaxy S5 vs Xperia Z2 home screen

Xperia Z2 vs Galaxy S5

We break down the strengths and weaknesses of the two Android heavyweights

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Data protection: the key challenges

Deduplication is a foundational technology for efficient backup and recovery


iPad makes its mark in the enterprise

The iPad can become a supercharged unified communications endpoint, allowing users to enhance their productivity

Software Development Engineer

Develop: Customise: Configure. Maximise your technical...

Junior Developer Hedge Fund C# WPF .Net - London

Junior Developer C# .Net - Mayfair Hedge Fund Junior...

IT Database Administrator (SQL)

Say hello to big brands & bigger career opportunities...

Magento Developer

Tile Mountain is a one stop online shop for all your...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.