Earlier this year, Microsoft demonstrated one way to take out a botnet. Earlier this week, Spanish authorities provided another option, namely arresting the botnet handlers. Spanish authorities arrested 3 cyber criminals who were behind the Mariposa botnet, which was one of the largest botnets in the world and, according to investigators, infected PCs in over 40 banks and over half of the Fortune 1,000 companies.
In order to find the cyber criminals, investigative authorities worked with security researchers to find the criminals. It also appears that the criminals were not particularly skilled, but utilized illicit contacts to develop and maintain the botnet.
The Mariposa botnet had infected around 12.7 million computers in around 190 countries throughout the world according to TheRegister.co.uk. It was dismantled in December 2009 through the efforts of Panda Security, Defense Intelligence, Spanish authorities and the FBI.