19 Million Infected Devices Used in Global Botnet: Arrest Made in Singapore

“World’s Largest Botnet Dismantled: Chinese National Arrested for Cyber Crimes”

World’s Largest Botnet Ever Dismantled by U.S. Department of Justice

Financial Fraud / Dark Web The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday said it dismantled what it described as
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) announced on May 30, 2024, that it had successfully dismantled what it believes to be the largest botnet ever discovered. This massive network consisted of 19 million infected devices that were leased to other threat actors for various illegal activities. The botnet, known as 911 S5, operated as a residential proxy service and had a global presence in over 190 countries.

The primary administrator of this illegal platform, YunHe Wang, a 35-year-old Chinese national, was apprehended in Singapore on May 24, 2024. Wang is facing multiple charges, including conspiracy to commit computer fraud, substantive computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 65 years in prison.

According to the DoJ, the botnet was utilized for a wide range of criminal activities, including cyber attacks, financial fraud, identity theft, child exploitation, harassment, bomb threats, and export violations. The extent of the botnet’s operations highlights the significant threat posed by cybercriminals and the need for robust cybersecurity measures.

It is worth noting that Wang was first identified as the owner of 911 S5 by security journalist Brian Krebs in July 2022. Following this revelation, the service abruptly shut down, citing a data breach of its key components. However, it resurfaced under a different name, CloudRouter, a few months later. According to cybersecurity company Spur, CloudRouter has now ceased operations.

The unsealed indictment against Wang alleges that he and others created and distributed malware to compromise millions of residential Windows computers worldwide. These infected devices were associated with over 19 million unique IP addresses, including more than 600,000 located in the United States. Wang profited by offering cybercriminals access to these infected IP addresses for a fee.

Residential proxies (RESIPs) are networks of legitimate user devices that redirect traffic on behalf of paid subscribers. These proxyware services allow cybercriminals to anonymize the source of their malicious requests by routing traffic through the IP addresses of these compromised devices. Wang is accused of propagating the malware through free Virtual Private Network (VPN) programs, such as MaskVPN and DewVPN, as well as pay-per-install services that bundled the malware with pirated software.

The indictment also reveals that Wang managed an extensive infrastructure consisting of 150 servers worldwide, with 76 of them being located in the United States. These servers were taken from online service providers based in the U.S.

The dismantling of this massive botnet is a significant victory for law enforcement agencies and a testament to their ongoing efforts to combat cybercrime. It serves as a reminder of the importance of cybersecurity measures for individuals and organizations alike. As technology continues to advance, it is crucial to remain vigilant and take proactive steps to protect against the ever-evolving threats posed by cybercriminals.

In conclusion, the U.S. Department of Justice’s successful dismantling of the world’s largest botnet highlights the global reach and impact of cybercriminals. The arrest of YunHe Wang, the primary administrator of the illegal platform, sends a strong message that those who engage in such activities will face severe consequences. This case underscores the need for continued investment in cybersecurity and collaboration between law enforcement agencies and the private sector to safeguard individuals and businesses from cyber threats.

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