Ten individuals have been arrested as part of an investigation into international cybercrime rings.
The US Department of Justice and the FBI, along with international law enforcement agencies, announced the arrests of the individuals, who come from the UK, the USA, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, New Zealand and Peru.
“The operation identified international cyber crime rings that are linked to multiple variants of the Yahos malicious software, or malware, which is linked to more than 11 million compromised computer systems and over $850m in losses via the Butterfly Botnet, which steals computer users’ credit card, bank account, and other personal identifiable information,” a statement from the agencies said.
Botnets, short for robot networks, are made up of compromised computer systems and can be used by cyber criminals to execute distributed denial of service attacks, send spam emails, and conduct underground organised criminal activity, to include malware distribution.
The FBI said Facebook also assisted with the operation, by helping to identify the root cause, the perpetrators, and those affected by the malware. Yahos targeted Facebook users from 2010 to October 2012, and security systems were able to detect affected accounts and provide tools to remove these threats.
The FBI has recommended that computer users update their applications and operating system on a regular basis to reduce the risk of compromise and perform regular anti-virus scanning of their computer system. It is also helpful to disconnect personal computers from the Internet when the machines are not in use, it said.