'Polymorphic' botnet draws international attention

The Homeland Security Department, the FBI and the Department of Justice are working with a host of international organizations to battle a pernicious botnet that has infected thousands of computers worldwide.

Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) joined forces with Dutch authorities, the FBI, U.S.-based representatives at the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force-International Cyber Crime Coordination Cell and private-sector partners to target the Beebone botnet.   Beebone, which is also referred to as AAEH, is a "a family of polymorphic downloaders" that installs various forms of malware – password stealers, rootkits, fake antivirus and ransomware, among others – on victims’ computers.

The botnet affects a range of Microsoft systems: Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, and 8; and Microsoft Server 2003, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, and Server 2012.

A Europol statement on April 8 said although Beebone isn't the most widespread botnet, it is a very sophisticated one, allowing multiple forms of malware to compromise security on victims’ computers.

DHS, the FBI, DOJ and Interpol also released an alert on April 9 providing more information about the AAEH botnet, along with prevention and mitigation recommendations.

J-CAT was formed last September by the FBI, Britain's National Crime Agency, Europol and other international law enforcement agencies to combat international cybercriminals.

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