I keep reminding you nearly every day that there really are bad guys out there trying to break into your computer and gadgets to steal your personal information. This story is just one more real-world example of what can happen when folks let down their guard.
This time, about 3.2 million computers were hacked before authorities busted the operation. But here's the scary thing: Even though this malware has been stopped, the people running it have so far escaped and authorities don't expect to make arrests any time soon.
The cybercrime operation designed to steal banking information was taken down by European police. Europol, in coordination with the European Cybercrime Center and private security companies, shut down the Ramnit botnet. Botnets are large groups of computers with specific malware installed on them. This malware allows hackers to remotely access the computers and use them to distribute more malware, steal information and do pretty much whatever they want.
Servers in four countries were seized, and authorities revealed that those servers only make up a small part of the hackers' massive operation. Europol also announced which countries were most affected by the hack. India was the worst hit, followed by Indonesia. The U.S. was affected, but to a much lesser extent.
While the botnet is suspected to have infected more than 3 million computers, it hasn't lasted very long. Authorities suspect that only about 350,000 victims are still infected by the malware. That's because that most anti-virus programs will detect and remove it for you.
If you don't have an anti-virus program installed on your computer, then you're going to want to check out the most important tip that I have ever written. It might just save you from getting tangled up in the next big botnet that copycat hackers are probably already working on.