The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced that with the help of Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) and a number of international law enforcement agencies, it has disrupted what it calls an “International Organized Cyber Crime Ring” which is responsible for over $850 million in losses.
Ten persons from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, New Zealand, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the United States were arrested; and “numerous” search warrants and interviews were executed. The targeted individuals and groups are linked to multiple variants of the “Yahos” malware that makes up the “Butterfly Botnet”.
In its announcement, the FBI claims that Yahos malware is linked to more than 11 million computers and that over $850 million in losses have been incurred. The thefts were made possible by the Butterfly Botnet which steal details of such things credit cards and bank accounts from computer users.
Facebook’s security team was credited with assisting law enforcement throughout the investigation. According to the FBI, they helped “to identify the root cause, the perpetrators, and those affected by the malware.” Apparently Yahos targeted Facebook users from at least 2010 through October 2012, but the FBI claims security systems were able to “detect affected accounts and provide tools to remove these threats.”
In addition to numerous of its field offices and various other parts of the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI credited “Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Republika Srpska Ministry of Interior; Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Interior General Police Directorate, National Police Office for Suppression of Corruption and Organized Crime; New Zealand Police; Peruvian National Police; and the United Kingdom’s Serious Organised Crime Agency” with cooperation and assistance.