Operation Bot Roast has been a success – sort of. Information provided by the FBI and the Department of Justice revealed that "investigations have identified over 1 million victim computer IP addresses," but it seems that only a small number of arrests have come as a result.
What’s encouraging, however, is that the word "ongoing" is used twice within the first three lines of the FBI’s press release. Indeed, this "initiative to disrupt and dismantle ‘botherders’ and elevate the public’s cyber security awareness of botnets" appears able to continue for an indefinite period of time.
Meanwhile, the FBI and the DOJ have identified three individuals that Operation Bot Roast has brought down: James C. Brewer, Robert Alan Soloway, and Jason Michael Downey. Downey is from Covington, Kentucky – SecurityProNews is based in Lexington, Kentucky – so to your humble author, this somehow feels all the more "real."
In addition to being "real," Operation Bot Roast is big. The DOJ and FBI gave nods to both Microsoft and the Botnet Task Force, and as mentioned earlier, they’ve identified more than a million infected PCs. Yet notifying the owners of those computers is still a work in progress.
"The majority of victims are not even aware that their computer has been compromised or their personal information exploited," said James Finch, FBI Assistant Director for the Cyber Division, in a statement.
"An attacker gains control by infecting the computer with a virus or other malicious code and the computer continues to operate normally," Finch continued. "Citizens can protect themselves from botnets and the associated schemes by practicing strong computer security habits to reduce the risk that your computer will be compromised."
Citizens can also refrain from calling the FBI in the event their computer is infected. Instead, the government agency suggests that they inform their ISPs. Danny McPherson pointed out, "Now, apparently, no one thought to vet this recommendation with ISPs. ISPs, and in particular those that cater largely to residential markets, invest a considerable amount into minimizing help desk and support-related calls in order to optimize profitability and ROI for traditionally lower margin services."
What does this mean? "Increases in call volume typically indicate decreases in profitability and often correspond to customer dissatisfaction, and at times negatively impact subscriber churn as well."
Operation Bot Roast isn’t perfect, but it’s still accomplished some impressive things. And don’t forget – this is an "ongoing cyber crime initiative."
Via: Security Pro News