A 23-year old Slovenian hacker that goes by the handle “Iserdo” has been arrested for developing the code that allowed the three alleged Spanish Mariposa botnet herders to infect some 13 million personal, corporate, bank and government computers in more than 190 countries.
The arrest is the result of a massive investigation that included the FBI, Spanish authorities, the Slovenian Criminal police, and the Mariposa working group (comprising the Georgia Tech Information Security Center, Defence Intelligence, Panda Security, and other international security experts).
According to Npr, the hacker was arrested in Maribor, Slovenia, some ten days ago and has since been released on bail. His real name and the exact charges that have been brought against him haven’t been released by the authorities.
Jeffrey Troy, the FBI’s deputy assistant director for the cyber division, says that more arrests will likely follow – those of other operators that bought the software package from the hacker. He considers Iserdo’s arrest a major break in the investigation, since it will prevent further updating of the code and/or organizing another botnet that will take control of the still infected computers, i.e “orphaned” bots.
The authorities are also keeping mum on the price that Iserdo was asking for the malware, but Internet sources say that the basic package was some $500, and that advanced versions have been known to reach the price of $1,300.