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Google disrupts botnet infecting one million Windows devices

Image used for representation purpose.

Image used for representation purpose.

Google has disrupted “key command and control infrastructure” of Glupteba, a botnet that compromised about one million Windows devices globally, and filed a lawsuit against its operators, the company said in a blog post.

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The search giant noted that the sophisticated botnet defends itself using blockchain technology, enabling it to recover more quickly from disruptions.

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“We believe this action will have a significant impact on Glupteba’s operations,” the tech firm said. “The operators of Glupteba are likely to attempt to regain control of the botnet using a backup command and control mechanism that uses data encoded on the Bitcoin blockchain.”

Google’s lawsuit mentions two Russian individuals, who the company claims, are behind the botnet’s operations. It has also filed a temporary restraining order to strengthen its technical disruption effort, Google stated, adding that “If successful, this action will create real legal liability for the operators.”

According to Google, the botnet is notorious for stealing users’ credentials and data, mining cryptocurrencies on infected hosts, and setting up proxies to funnel other people’s internet traffic through infected machines and routers.

A botnet is a network of machines infected by malware that places them under the control of hackers, who can then use the devices for malicious purposes.

“At any moment, the power of the Glupteba botnet could be used in a powerful ransomware attack or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack,” Google noted in its complaint for damages and injunctive relief.

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Google has been tracking Glupteba since 2020 and found that it was being circulated on several third-party software download, online movie streaming, and video downloader sites, often advertised as “free downloads,” it added in its complaint.

The Alphabet-owned firm said it has terminated around 63 million Google Docs observed to have distributed Glupteba, 1,183 Google Accounts, 908 Cloud Projects, and 870 Google Ads accounts associated with their distribution.


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Printable version | May 23, 2022 5:54:00 am | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/google-disrupts-botnet-infecting-one-million-windows-devices/article37921411.ece