Facebook helps FBI stop online crime ring
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - It looks like social networks can do something in addition to socializing. The FBI announced on Tuesday, December 11, that Facebook aided in the takedown of an international crime ring that caused over US$850 million in losses online.
According to the FBI's statement, the crime ring was comprised of 10 individuals from Bosnia and Herzegovia, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, New Zealand, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The crime ring used "multiple variants of the Yahos malicious software," which was linked to over 11 million compromised computer systems. The malware was sent out through the Butterfly robot network (botnet), which was made up of compromised computer systems.
Facebook's contribution to the investigation was in "helping to identify the root cause, the perpetrators, and those affected by the malware." The FBI adds that the Yahos malware targeted Facebook users from 2010 to October 2012. Despite this, they had security systems in place to find affected accounts and provide a means of removing the threats.
By comparison, CNET reports that the next closest contender for biggest online criminal haul was the Zeus botnet crime ring, responsible for infecting around 13 million computers and stealing over $100 million.
While Apple computers cannot apparently be infected by the malware, according to a report from The New York Times, users of other operating systems may want to visit this Facebook malware checking page to see if they've been affected.- Rappler.com