Shutting the butterfly botnet

The last 12 months have seen significant success in combating one of the main forms of cybercrime – botnets.

These networks of hijacked home computers have become the basic tool for many cyber thieves. Maintaining them, finding new victims and using them has become a significant part of the net’s criminal economy.

The vast majority of spam is sent out via the computers on botnets; they are used to stage attacks on websites and the machines forming them are harvested for saleable information such as credit card numbers and game logins.

Shutting down the Mariposa, or butterfly, botnet was one of the bigger successes. It got its name because it was built using the butterfly bot kit…

Luis Corrons, a senior researcher at Panda Security, played a big part investigating Mariposa…

Finding out was only possible when one of Mariposa’s controllers accidentally revealed the net address of his home computer.

In this case we were really lucky,” said Mr Corrons. “When I found the IP address imagine my face when I realised it was in Spain.”

Not only that but one of the men behind the botnet lived a few kilometers from the Bilbao lab where Mr Corrons worked.

He assumed that the arrest and closure of Mariposa would mark the end of his involvement of the investigation.

RTFA and grab a chuckle over the brass balls of the script kiddies who ran this packaged botnet.

How many greedy and grotty, spotty little nerds are required to be a royal pain in the butt to a world full of ordinary folks who would just like to go about their business – using what has become an essential avenue of communications?

How many? Apparently – two or three. Not any brighter than anyone else – absent honesty and ethics.