12 Million PC Victims
Did you hear about the big bust this morning? Ringleaders of the Mariposa Botnet have been arrested.
The Mariposa Botnet made its debut in December 2008 and blossomed into the kingpin of cybercrime. This network of virus-infected computers stole credit card and online banking info from more than 12 million poisoned PCs. These infected computers included those in Fortune 1,000 companies and major banks.
Incidents like this, which usually aren't publicized until after the fact or after an arrest, are why I don't do online banking. I've sat in on too many FBI workshops on Internet security I guess.
Spanish investigators, working with private computer-security firms, arrested 3 who are supposed to be the ringleaders, and they predicted more arrests are to be made in other countries.
After reading the press releases, I thought this would make a great mystery movie. Maybe someone will script this adventure of how the investigators hunted them down and gathered the evidence. It would be a great information plot to find out how the perpetrators went about setting it all up and how the investigators put the pieces of the puzzle together because it's extremely hard to track down these cyber criminals and get enough evidence against them. What's even more intriguing is that the suspects aren't genius geeks. They're so-called normal people who made criminal contacts to set it up and keep it going.
Unfortunately, these three face only 6 years in prison for this massive crime against property that covered 190 countries. I'm thinking penalties need to be stiffened for crimes like this that can wipe out an individual's assets and credit worthy reputation.
Unfortunately, cyber crime is like an iceberg. For every ring busted, there are many more that are hidden. It's also like a regenerating hydra on steroids.