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FBI says at least one million computers infected by 'botnets'

     
8:40 pm on Jun 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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[news.yahoo.com...]

The
FBI is in the process of locating and notifying the users of one million computers controlled by hackers through automated crime networks or "botnets," officials said Friday.

Authorities announced this week three arrests in separate schemes to infect computers to allow them to be remotely controlled by malicious software, usually sent by spam e-mail.

FBI special agent Richard Kolko said "the vast majority" of the million computers were in the United States but added that "it's a global problem" and the US authorities have worked with partners from as many as 60 countries in the investigations.

9:05 pm on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>The FBI warned computer users that it would not contact
>victims online, and said any e-mails suggesting this
>should be viewed with caution "because they could be
>part of a malicious phishing scheme attempting to
>exploit this issue."

Smart move.

If contact is not online, it kinda makes you wonder what records they have to connect online (usually) dynamic IP with offline contact info.

9:11 pm on June 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If contact is not online, it kinda makes you wonder what records they have to connect online (usually) dynamic IP with offline contact info.

Whatever records they need. [wired.com]

12:46 am on June 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Spyware checkers find this on your pc right?
1:53 am on June 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This will be pretty funny when a million highly non-technical folk get a letter saying their PC is "infected". I wonder what percentage will do nothing because they have no idea what to do, and what percentage will get taken to the cleaners by incompetent local tech support companies that are smart enough to capitalize on headlines, but not smart enough to remove a rootkit.
6:15 am on June 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If this is true then I would advise buying Best Buy stock because their Geek Squad revenues will be off the charts.
6:42 am on June 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If this is true then I would advise buying Best Buy stock because their Geek Squad revenues will be off the charts.

haha, it's so sad because it's true, although I like to think even people who allow their computers to become hijacked still know enough not to let best buy near their hard drive. but probably not.
2:07 pm on June 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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---- This will be pretty funny when a million highly non-technical folk get a letter saying their PC is "infected". ---

That's half the fun.

Picture this:

Happy Marcy wakes up on Saturday afternoon after a "Girls Night Out", Walks to her mail box, and finds the letter from FBI that says that she needs to have her Computer Brains examined by a Pro, cause they are infected. And this just about a day or two after she put those skirts for bids on eBay, you know, the ones her future mother-in-law gave her last month for her birthday…

added..

and then there will be "HardDrive Physics for Sale" all over EBay...

9:53 pm on June 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Why continue to make fun of the average computer user - people who just "use" their computer and are really the 95% user base of the web?
2:22 am on June 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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um, that's what the "average user" means, thanks for the clarification
1:22 pm on June 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Will they be able to obtain postal addresses? Surely they will have to email. I know that anything claiming to come from a US government department in my (UK) inbox gets zapped unopened as spam.
6:31 pm on June 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It's frustrating being a consultant. I constantly run into business and home users whose machines are buggier than a $5 hotel room.

They are unable to lock down the machines themselves and unwilling to pay anyone to do so.

With an ever increasing number of people with high speed internet and ever more powerful machines, there are a lot of targets for hackers. I've even seen articles where hackers are targeting printers because of the storage capacity.

I can understand that the FBI would not want to try to contact 1 million people. The logistics would be a nightmare. (Also, if you are a tinfoil hat type, think of the 1 million compromised PCs just begging for a new master)

I am glad to see them cracking down on the botnets, especially as a greater portion of the economy is dependant on the internet...

/ramble mode..

cg

7:16 pm on June 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I constantly run into business and home users whose machines are buggier than a $5 hotel room.

Ditto. I also sell products to customers that call and ask:
'I bought this stuff from your site and need to know how to use it?'

Reply: 'Have you read the instructions on the bottle?'

Customer: 'Oh, there are instructions on the bottle?'

90% of people outside of any technical field don't seem to have the brainpower to operate a standard pair of jumper cables, much less something that might require them to read more than 10 pages (and comprehend it).

The Mac is making some progress in market share that cuts some of it down (for now!) and M$FT is doing better at locking down the PC's coming off the shelf now but the problems lie within the older ones already infected.

 

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