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The FBI is dismantling what it called a massive illegal operation that enslaved thousands of computers.13 April 2017
Peter Levashov, also known as Peter Severa, or “Peter of the North,” is alleged to have run an operation which infected tens of thousands of computers and used them to send spam, steal personal details, and spread malware.
Levashov, 36, was arrested last week while on holiday in Spain. He was finally tracked down after making the schoolboy error of using the same login credentials to run his criminal network and to access iTunes, Wired reports.
Computers he infected were slaved into a network known as a botnet and controlled remotely, the Justice Department said in a statement.
The FBI estimated the Kelihos botnet currently controls between 25,000 and 100,000 computers running the Windows operating system, a number that should begin shrinking as the network is dismantled over the next few days, PCWorld cites a Justice Department official as saying.
Levashov also allegedly advertised user data stolen from infected computers on online criminal forums and rented out the Kelihos system to other criminals, International Business Times says.
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