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FBI aims to disrupt bot masters
Published: 2007-06-13

The FBI announced on Wednesday that an ongoing cybercrime initiative, dubbed Operation Bot Roast, has identified more than a million PCs compromised with bot software and resulted in charges against three people for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

The U.S. Department of Justice, along with its partners at the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University and the Botnet Task Force, aim to disrupt the operations of bot masters, or bot herders, that compromise their victims machines to use for sending spam or attacking other computers.

"The majority of victims are not even aware that their computer has been compromised or their personal information exploited," James Finch, assistant director for the FBI's Cyber Division, said in a statement. "An attacker gains control by infecting the computer with a virus or other malicious code and the computer continues to operate normally."

Three recent cases have been placed under the umbrella of Operation Bot Roast. The FBI's Chicago office charged James C. Brewer of Arlington, Texas, on Wednesday with allegedly operating a bot net that infected Chicago-area hospitals. Agents in Detroit investigated and charged Jason M. Downey of Covington, Kentucky, with allegedly using bot-infected machines to level a denial-of-service attack against specific targets. The FBI's Seattle office charged Robert A. Soloway with using a botnet to spam tens of millions of unsolicited e-mail messages.

The FBI referred citizens that may be concerned about their computer's security to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Posted by: Robert Lemos
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