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FBI Statement on Botnet Operation

Jun 05, 2013 07:00 AM

FBI Statement on Botnet Operation

06/05/13

FBI Executive Assistant Director Richard McFeely of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch issued the following statement.

In separate but coordinated operations, the FBI, Microsoft, and financial services industry leaders successfully disrupted more than 1,000 botnets built on Citadel malware in a massive global cyber crime operation that is estimated by the financial services industry to have been responsible for over half a billion dollars in financial fraud.

Microsoft exercised its independent civil authorities in this matter. The company then coordinated with the FBI and other private parties. The FBI provided information to foreign law enforcement counterparts so that they could also take voluntary action on botnet infrastructure located outside of the United States. The FBI also obtained and served court-authorized search warrants domestically related to the botnets.

Today’s actions represent the future of addressing the significant risks posed to our citizens, businesses, and intellectual property by cyber threats and malicious software, which are often enabled by counterfeit and unlicensed software. Creating successful public-private relationships—in which tools, knowledge, and intelligence are shared—is the ultimate key to success in addressing cyber threats and is among the highest priorities of the FBI. We must ensure that, as cyber policy is developed, the ability of the private sector to coordinate in real time with the FBI is encouraged so that a multi-prong attack on our cyber adversaries can be as effective as possible.

These actions are part of a larger U.S. government strategy led by the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF) to target botnet creators and distributors.

They exemplify how the FBI is using public-private partnerships, both domestically and internationally, to protect the public from criminals based throughout the world. These efforts will not only protect current victims but also will further develop our intelligence on international criminal hackers, enabling more actions in the coming months. We will use the intelligence gained from this operation to work against the international criminal enterprises conducting these operations, thereby helping to make the Internet safer for people and businesses worldwide.

At the NCIJTF—which serves as the coordination, integration, and sharing center on cyber investigations among 19 U.S. agencies—we are coordinating at an unprecedented level. This coordination involves senior personnel at key agencies. NCIJTF, which is led by the FBI, now has deputy directors from the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Secret Service, and U.S. Cyber Command.

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