UK & World News

  • 12 December 2012, 6:12

Facebook Helps FBI Snare $850m Cyber Gang

A criminal ring that infected 11 million computers around the world, causing more than $850m (527m) in total losses, has been snared by a team led by the FBI and Facebook.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation worked alongside several international agencies to arrest 10 people it claims infected computers with "Yahos" malicious software, then stole credit card, bank and other personal information.

Facebook's security team assisted the FBI after "Yahos" targeted its users from 2010 to October 2012.

The social network site helped identify the criminals and spot affected accounts.

The FBI said Facebook's security systems were "able to detect affected accounts and provide tools to remove these threats".

According to the agency, which also worked with the US Department of Justice, the accused hackers employed the "Butterfly Botnet".

Botnets are networks of compromised computers that can be used in a variety of cyberattacks on personal computers.

Ten people from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, New Zealand, Peru, the UK and the US have been arrested.

Experts say cybercrime is on the rise around the world as PC and mobile computing become more prevalent and as more and more financial transactions shift online.

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