Europol, the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit and the FBI have taken down the Beebone botnet, a sophisticated threat that could have affected a large number of machines.
The botnet was struck locally by Europol's European Cybercrime Centre, EC3, the ‘all-star' Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-Cat) and in the US by the FBI and the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force.
Support was provided by Intel and Kaspersky and Shadowserver, a volunteer group of cyber experts.
Beebone had a rather small infection footprint, just some 12,000 compromised machines, but investigators did not rule out the possibility of more.
Beebone, or the AAEH botnet, is described as a "polymorphic downloader bot" with the ability to install different types of malware on user machines. Europol dubbed it a "very sophisticated" threat.
The international effort saw it sinkholed and any associated domains suspended. Information gathered during the investigation and infection will be shared with internet service providers and local CERTs so that they can inform affected parties.
This is the latest in a series of successful internationally coordinated takedowns, and Europol said that it would keep up its work. J-Cat was launched late last year and had an immediate impact.
Europol, and its EC3, has played a role in fixing Gameover Zeus infections, Ramnit malware infections and the removal of hundreds of scam and counterfeit sites. In the Ramnit investigations the agency worked with Microsoft, Symantec and the UK's National Crime Agency.
"This successful operation shows the importance of international law enforcement working together with private industry to fight the global threat of cybercrime," said Europol deputy director of operations Wil van Gemert.
"We will continue our efforts to take down botnets and disrupt the core infrastructures used by cyber criminals to carry out a variety of crimes.
"Together with the EU member states and partners around the globe, our aim is to protect people worldwide against these criminal activities."
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