Irony Alert: Facebook Helps FBI Bust Hackers for Stealing Users’ Personal Info
Facebook cooperated with the FBI to nab crooks who infected 11 million computers and stole $850 million. The bad guys clearly forgot just how strongly Facebook feels about other people making money off of its users.
By Constantine von Hoffman, CIO
Facebook recently picked a fight with the Gods of Irony and helped the FBI takedown an international group of thieves that infected 11 million computers and stole more than $850 million.
Mr. Zuckerberg’s security team aided the Bureau by identifying compromised accounts and perpetrators around the globe who stole financial information and personal data—and in some cases, spammed Facebook users—after infecting computers with malicious software.
Warning to all cyber criminals: Do not use Facebook for spam!
“Facebook’s security team provided assistance to law enforcement throughout the investigation by helping to identify the root cause, the perpetrators, and those affected by the malware,” the FBI said in a press release.
Ten alleged perpetrators were arrested in the United States, United Kingdom, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Peru and New Zealand for spreading the Yahos malware on Facebook between 2010 and October. Attackers sent IMs from phony Facebook accounts with links to sites hosting banking malware and other data-stealing Trojans. I am crushed to find out George Clooney did not really want to be my friend.
The bad guys used the Butterfly botnet to steal almost a billion dollars from its victims, using credit-card numbers, bank account logins and other personally-identifiable information taken from infected computers. ThreatPost notes: “The Spanish word for butterfly is Mariposa, which is also the name of a virulent botnet that spread spam and carried out denial-of-service attacks. The FBI’s statement did not link Butterfly with Mariposa.”
Given that the network was also known as the Slenfbot, the bad guys may have just wanted something they could easily spell.
Facebook clearly didn’t like the idea of anyone else spamming its users or making money off of them, and if these guys hadn’t poached on Facebook’s turf they might have got away with it.