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With Court Order, FBI Hijacks ‘Coreflood’ Botnet, Sends Kill Signal

• wired.com

In an extraordinary intervention, the Justice Department has sought and won permission from a federal judge to seize control of a massive criminal botnet comprising millions of private computers, and deliver a command to those computers to disable the malicious software.

The request, filed Tuesday under seal in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut, sought a temporary restraining order to allow the nonprofit Internet Systems Consortium, or ISC, to swap out command-and-control servers that were communicating with machines infected with Coreflood — malicious software used by computer criminals to loot victims’ bank accounts.

According to the filing, ISC, under law enforcement supervision, planned to replace the servers with servers that it controlled, then collect the IP addresses of all infected machines communicating with the criminal servers, and send a remote “stop” command to infected machines to disable the Coreflood malware operating on them.

A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed that the takeover occurred Tuesday evening, and the shutdown command was sent to infected computers based in the United States.

 

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