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This article was published on August 16, 2008


    Dutch high tech police let giant botnet kill itself

    Dutch high tech police let giant botnet kill itself
    Ernst-Jan Pfauth
    Story by

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

    Apparently, my country has a rather sophisticated high tech crime police squad. When this corps raided a giant botnet, 150,000-machines strong, called Shadow, they asked Antivirus Software company Kaspersky Lab to let it commit some sort of suicide.

    The botnet was run by a 19-old year guy and his 16-year old brother. They infected computers by sending friend invites via Windows Live Messenger which contained links to a corrupt file. Most victims were Dutch, but the two siblings also managed to infect some computers in the U.S.. The police arrested the brothers on July 29th and then made phone call to the Russian Antivirus experts.

    Kaspersky Lab has sent every user of an infected computer step-for-step instructions to get rid of Shadow. That’s what I call effective police work. Resist the temptation of just blowing the thing up, and carefully remove all the traces of the botnet beast called Shadow.