FBI takes down international cybercrime group
The technology industry witnessed several high-profile data breaches, more sophisticated distributed-denial-of-service attacks and several user privacy battles over the past year, but U.S. government agencies ended 2012 on a more positive note. In December, the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation made several arrests connected to an international cybercrime group that utilized the Yahos malware - a banking Trojan.
The cybercriminals used infected computers as part of the Butterfly botnet, stealing more than $850 million over several years, according to the FBI. The arrests were made due to collaboration between a number of organizations, including field offices from around the world and Facebook. The social network provided information to help law enforcement find the source of the malware infections as well as identify affected users.
Although the takedown represents a step forward, security experts have already issued a warning that making arrests isn't enough to solve the cybercrime problem, according to BankInfoSecurity reporter Tracy Kitten. Neil Schwartzman, a vice president for secure messaging infrastructure provider Message Bus, encouraged companies to adopt multi-factor authentication to make unauthorized account logins more difficult. He highlighted the value of Google's system, which sends a randomly generated code to a user's cellphone to verify his or her identity. While such a system does not guarantee 100 percent security, Schwartzman said it could have stopped many of the computer security breaches connected to Butterfly.
Another problem faced by security experts is the lack of widespread collaboration between the public and private sector. Dave Jevans, head of online security firm Marble Cloud, explained to the news source that this is an example of effective collaboration between government agencies and the private sector, and more communication of this nature will be necessary to truly disrupt cybercriminal activity.