- Apr 24, 2016
LOS ANGELES – The Justice Department today announced a multinational operation involving actions in the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Romania, and Latvia to disrupt the botnet and malware known as Qakbot and take down its infrastructure.
The Qakbot malicious code is being deleted from victim computers, preventing it from doing any more harm. The Department also announced the seizure of more than $8.6 million in cryptocurrency in illicit profits.
The action represents the largest U.S.-led financial and technical disruption of a botnet infrastructure leveraged by cybercriminals to commit ransomware, financial fraud, and other cyber-enabled criminal activity.
“An international partnership led by the Justice Department and the FBI has resulted in the dismantling of Qakbot, one of the most notorious botnets ever, responsible for massive losses to victims around the world,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “Qakbot was the botnet of choice for some of the most infamous ransomware gangs, but we have now taken it out. This operation also has led to the seizure of almost 9 million dollars in cryptocurrency from the Qakbot cybercriminal organization, which will now be made available to victims. My Office’s focus is on protecting and vindicating the rights of victims, and this multifaceted attack on computer-enabled crime demonstrates our commitment to safeguarding our nation from harm.”
“The Operation ‘Duck Hunt’ Team utilized their expertise in science and technology, but also relied on their ingenuity and passion to identify and cripple Qakbot, a highly structured and multi-layered bot network that was literally feeding the global cybercrime supply chain,” said Donald Alway, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “These actions will prevent an untold number of cyberattacks at all levels, from the compromised personal computer to a catastrophic attack on our critical infrastructure."
The Justice Department today announced a multinational operation involving actions in the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Romania, and Latvia to disrupt the botnet and malware known as Qakbot and take down its infrastructure.