Microsoft leads effort in thwarting infamous malware net

International cyber sting brings down Citadel botnet, blamed for $500m in bank thefts

Tags: Cyber crimeEuropol ( Corporation
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Microsoft leads effort in thwarting infamous malware net Citadel’s architect, Aquabox, is still at large, but thought to be living in Eastern Europe.
By  Stephen McBride Published  December 5, 2013

The EU's law enforcement co-operative, Europol today said that Microsoft Corp's Digital Crimes Unit had been successful in shutting down a malware network known as the Citadel Botnets, Reuters reported.

Microsoft's DCU mounted an operation in conjunction with authorities in more than 80 countries to eradicate the network yesterday.

The Citadel network, comprised of servers that control around 5m infected machines worldwide, is thought to be responsible for the theft of more than $500m from bank accounts in the past 18 months. Microsoft said targets had included American Express, Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, eBay's PayPal, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Canada and Wells Fargo.

"Basically the Citadel bug is now clean," Troels Oerting, head of Europol's European Cybercrime Centre, said today.

In a court filing, Microsoft alleged the Citadel architect, who uses the alias "Aquabox", lives in Eastern Europe, citing functionality within the botnet that instructs it to avoid attacking PCs in Russia or Ukraine.

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