Rodney Joffe, Neustar Inc.’s senior vice president and senior technologist, recently spoke to Federal News Radio about July’s Mariposa botnet arrests.
According to the FBI, the Mariposa botnet stole passwords for websites and financial institutions, online users’ credit card and bank account information, launched denial-of-service attacks, and spread viruses in more than 12 million computers.
Panda Security said the criminals behind the botnet also used money mules to steal directly from victim bank accounts, and laundered stolen money through online gambling websites.
The FBI credits the arrests of several suspects to the work of the Mariposa Working Group, which Joffe set up.
“All of these machines, without really the knowledge or awareness of the people who physically own them, are actually controlled by a central system and behind the central system, of course, is typically a criminal,” Joffe told Federal News Radio.
Earlier this year, three Spanish cyber criminals were arrested for using the Mariposa botnet, and Joffe said the alleged author of the software had been arrested in Slovenia. The cyber criminals behind Mariposa called themselves the DDP Team (Días de Pesadilla Team – Spanish for Nightmare Days Team).
In addition to Joffe’s contributions to the Mariposa Working Group, Defence Intelligence, Panda Security, Directi, Georgia Tech Information Security Center, international security researchers and law-enforcement officials were part of the task force.