The US Department of Justice and FBI have announced the results of an ongoing cyber crime initiative to disrupt and dismantle ‘bot herders’ and elevate the cyber security awareness of botnets. Operation Bot Roast is a national initiative in the US and ongoing investigations have identified over 1 million victim computer IP addresses. The FBI is working with its industry partners, including the CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University, to notify the victim owners of the computers. Through this process the FBI may uncover additional incidents in which botnets have been used to facilitate other criminal activity. A botnet is a collection of compromised computers under the remote command and control of a criminal ‘bot herder’. Most owners of the compromised computers are unknowing and unwitting victims. They have unintentionally allowed unauthorized access and use of their computers as a vehicle to facilitate other crimes, such as identity theft, denial of service attacks, phishing, click fraud, and the mass distribution of spam and spyware. Because of their widely distributed capabilities, botnets are a threat to security, the information infrastructures, and even economies. Cyber security tips include updating anti?virus software, installing a firewall, using strong passwords, practicing good email and web security practices. Although this will not necessarily identify or remove a botnet currently on the system, this can help to prevent future botnet attacks.
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