A three million strong botnet which filled the world with phishing emails has been shut down thanks to the efforts of the National Crime Agency’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), police in the Netherlands, Italy and Germany.
The shut-down was co-ordinated through Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), which also shut down command and control servers used by the RAMNIT botnet.
Investigators believe that RAMNIT may have infected over three million computers worldwide, with around 33,000 of those being in the UK. It has so far largely been used to attempt to take money from bank accounts. Analysis is now taking place on the servers and an investigation is ongoing.
RAMNIT was one of the most prevalent botnets in McAfee Threat reports for some time and Europol was alerted to RAMNIT by Microsoft, after data analysis showed a big increase in infections.
Steve Pye from the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit said: “Through this operation, we are disrupting a cyber crime threat which has left thousands of ordinary computer users in the UK at risk of having their privacy and personal information compromised.”
“This malware effectively gives criminals a back door so they can take control of your computer, access your images, passwords or personal data and even use it to circulate further spam messages or launch illegal attacks on other websites. As a result of this action, the UK is safer from RAMNIT, but it is important that individuals take action now to disinfect their machines, and protect their personal information,” Pye said.