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FBI battles new data-stealing botnet

FBI battles new data-stealing botnet
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

An enormous botnet called Beebone has infected at least 12,000 computers, allowing hackers to steal sensitive data and banking information. A botnet is like a hacker's robot that crawls through the Internet doing the hacker's dirty work. But, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies from across the globe are fighting back and trying to get rid of the botnet for good.

"Botnets like Beebone have victimized people worldwide, which is why they need a worldwide law enforcement approach working with the private sector," said FBI Assistant Director for Cyber Joseph Demarest Jr.

A botnet is actually a group of computers that hackers have taken over without the owners' knowledge. The hackers seize control of sometimes hundreds or thousands of unwitting computers with a virus, and then use the massive network of infected computers to perform large-scale hacks or scams. The Beebone botnet allows hackers to install other types of malware on the victims' computers capable of stealing banking information, passwords and installing ransomware.

The FBI is currently working with other American agencies and Europol's European Cybercrime Centre, the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce and the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit to combat Beebone.

Next page: Read more about the FBI's response and learn how to protect yourself.
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