Canadian botnet busted

IT security and control firm Sophos has welcomed news that Canadian authorities have apprehended 17 people suspected of running the largest and most damaging cybercrime network ever discovered in the country.

In a co-ordinated series of dawn raids, the Sûreté du Québec and Royal Canadian Mounted Police, arrested people in twelve different towns, ranging in age from 17 to 26 years old.  One of those arrested is a nineteen year old woman.

The gang is believed to have run a zombie network (also known as a botnet) of up to one million computers, spanning 100 countries around the globe.  Seven people were charged with illegally obtaining computer services, illegally possessing computer passwords, and hacking.  Police confiscated computer equipment during the raids, and information found on the PCs may lead to more charges against other alleged gang members.

If found guilty, gang members could face up to ten years behind bars, head of the computer crime squad Captain Frédérick Gaudreau told the media.  He added that hundreds of officers were involved in the investigation into the gang after complaints were made in the summer of 2006 from business and government computer users.




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