Europol and security vendors disrupt massive Ramnit botnet

The operation seized command-and-control servers and Internet domains used by the Ramnit gang

European law enforcement agencies seized command-and-control servers used by Ramnit, a malware program that steals online banking credentials, FTP passwords, session cookies and personal files from victims.

Ramnit started out in 2010 as a computer worm capable of infecting EXE, DLL, HTM, and HTML files. However, over time it evolved into an information-stealing Trojan that's distributed in a variety of ways.

Ramnit is capable of hijacking online banking sessions, stealing session cookies which can then be used to access accounts on various sites, copying sensitive files from hard drives, giving attackers remote access to infected computers and more.

Researchers from antivirus vendor Symantec described the malware program as "a fully-featured cybercrime tool" in a blog post Wednesday and said that it infected over 3.2 million computers over its five years of existence.

Symantec, Microsoft and threat intelligence firm AnubisNetworks assisted Europol and law enforcement investigators from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the U.K. in disrupting the cyberinfrastructure that was used to control the Ramnit botnet.

The operation involved the seizure of servers in four countries and the filing of a lawsuit last week in a U.S. federal court by Microsoft and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center. Three hundred domain addresses used by the botnet's operators have also been seized.

Law enforcement and the private sector need to work together to protect people online, said David Finn, associate general counsel and executive director of the Microsoft Cybercrime Center, in a blog post. "That's because the complexity of fighting cybercrime is bigger than any one company or organization. It requires a diverse set of skills, including sophisticated computer forensics, big data analysis and legal strategy."

According to Symantec, the Ramnit botnet was still very active and consisted of around 350,000 compromised computers when the takedown operation was launched. The most affected countries are India with 27 percent of the victims, Indonesia with 18 percent and Vietnam with 12 percent. The U.S. is in fifth place, accounting for 6 percent of infected systems.

Symantec released a stand-alone tool that allows users to check their computers for Ramnit infections and clean them.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags online safetysymantecMicrosoftsecurityAnubisNetworkslegalspywaremalwarecybercrimeEuropol

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?