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Microsoft Hijacks Necurs Botnet that Infected 9 Million PCs Worldwide

Microsoft Hijacks Necurs Botnet that Infected 9 Million PCs Worldwide

Mar 10, 2020
Microsoft today announced that it has successfully disrupted the botnet network of the Necurs malware, which has infected more than 9 million computers globally, and also hijacked the majority of its infrastructure. The latest botnet takedown was the result of a coordinated operation involving international police and private tech companies across 35 countries. The operation was conducted successfully after researchers successfully broke the domain generation algorithm (DGA) implemented by the Necurs malware, which helped it remain resilient for a long time. DGA is basically a technique to unpredictably generate new domain names at regular intervals, helping malware authors to continuously switch the location of C&C servers and maintain undisrupted digital communication with the infected machines. "We were then able to accurately predict over six million unique domains that would be created in the next 25 months. Microsoft reported these domains to their respective r
Spanish Court Agrees to Extradite Russian Spam King to the United States

Spanish Court Agrees to Extradite Russian Spam King to the United States

Oct 05, 2017
Spain's National Court ruled on Tuesday to extradite a 36-year-old Russian computer programmer, accused by American authorities of malicious hacking offences, to the United States, according to a court document. Peter Yuryevich Levashov , also known as Peter Severa, was arrested in April this year when he was travelling with his family to Barcelona, Spain from his home in Russia—a country without an extradition treaty with the United States—for his role in a huge computer botnet. However, since Levashov has previously worked with for Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party for ten years, he fears that the US authorities would torture him for information about his political work if sent there to face the charges against him. " If I go to the U.S., I will die in a year. They want to get information of a military nature and about the United Russia party ," RIA news agency quoted Levashov as saying. " I will be tortured, within a year I will be killed, or I wil
The Drop in Ransomware Attacks in 2024 and What it Means

The Drop in Ransomware Attacks in 2024 and What it Means

Apr 08, 2024Ransomware / Cybercrime
The  ransomware industry surged in 2023  as it saw an alarming 55.5% increase in victims worldwide, reaching a staggering 5,070.  But 2024 is starting off showing a very different picture.  While the numbers skyrocketed in Q4 2023 with 1309 cases, in Q1 2024, the ransomware industry was down to 1,048 cases. This is a 22% decrease in ransomware attacks compared to Q4 2023. Figure 1: Victims per quarter There could be several reasons for this significant drop.  Reason 1: The Law Enforcement Intervention Firstly, law enforcement has upped the ante in 2024 with actions against both LockBit and ALPHV. The LockBit Arrests In February, an international operation named "Operation Cronos" culminated in the arrest of at least three associates of the infamous LockBit ransomware syndicate in Poland and Ukraine.  Law enforcement from multiple countries collaborated to take down LockBit's infrastructure. This included seizing their dark web domains and gaining access to their backend sys
Over 711 Million Email Addresses Exposed From SpamBot Server

Over 711 Million Email Addresses Exposed From SpamBot Server

Aug 30, 2017
A massive database of 630 million email addresses used by a spambot to send large amounts of spam to has been published online in what appears to be one of the biggest data dumps of its kind. A French security researcher, who uses online handle Benkow , has spotted the database on an "open and accessible" server containing a vast amount of email addresses, along with millions of SMTP credentials from around the world. The database is hosted on the spambot server in Netherlands and is stored without any access controls, making the data publicly available for anyone to access without requiring any password. According to a blog post published by Benkow, the spambot server, dubbed "Onliner Spambot," has been used to send out spams and spread a banking trojan called Ursnif to users since at least 2016. Ursnif Banking Trojan is capable of stealing banking information from target computers including credit card data, and other personal information like login
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U.S. Takes Down Kelihos Botnet After Its Russian Operator Arrested in Spain

U.S. Takes Down Kelihos Botnet After Its Russian Operator Arrested in Spain

Apr 11, 2017
A Russian computer hacker arrested over the weekend in Barcelona was apparently detained for his role in a massive computer botnet, and not for last year's US presidential election hack as reported by the Russian media. Peter Yuryevich Levashov, 32-years-old Russian computer programmer, suspected of operating the Kelihos botnet — a global network of over 100,000 infected computers that was used to deliver spam, steal login passwords, and infect computers with ransomware and other types of malware since approximately 2010, the U.S. Justice Department announced Monday. As suspected earlier, Levashov, also known as Peter Severa, is the same man who has also been listed in the World's Top 10 Worst Spammers maintained by anti-spam group Spamhaus , which has given him the 7th position in the list. The arrest was made possible after the FBI learned just last month that Levashov was traveling with his family to Spain from his home in Russia, a country without any extraditi
Suspected Kelihos Botnet Operator Arrested in Spain

Suspected Kelihos Botnet Operator Arrested in Spain

Apr 10, 2017
Update (Tuesday, April 11):  The arrest of a Russian man in Spain was apparently for his role in Kelihos botnet responsible for sending hundreds of millions of spam emails worldwide. A Russian computer hacker and alleged spam kingpin was arrested in Barcelona, Spain, on Friday reportedly over suspicion of being involved in hacking attacks linked to alleged interference in last year's United States presidential election process . 36-year-old Peter Yuryevich Levashov  from St. Petersburg was detained by police in Barcelona after US authorities issued an international arrest warrant for his arrest. While the Russian embassy in Madrid announced Levashov's arrest on Sunday, it did not confirm the reason for his arrest. This is the second arrest made by the Spanish authorities since the US 2016 election. In January, the police detained Stanislav Lisov , 32, on suspicion of creating and operating the NeverQuest Banking Trojan and possibly influencing the presidential elec
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