Botnets are usually used to target computers en masse, often in hundreds of thousands and to try and steal the data of the users to be used for nefarious purposes. However, it is now being reported that the Russian police has unveiled and arrested the perpetrators behind the largest known botnet to this date.
What makes this botnet the largest is that it was able to infect a whopping 4.5 million computers! The main brain behind this botnet was a 22-year old hacker who is known as ‘Arashi’ and ‘Hermes’ in the online communities.
With such a wide influence of his botnet, naturally Hermes was able to mint a lot of money. He used banking trojans on his botnet and was able to steal some 2.9 million pounds from organizations as well as common users.
The main trojans that were used by the hacker were probably different variants of ‘Carberp’ and similar other trojans. These trojans would then steal the credentials of the users. These credentials were then used to transfer money from their accounts to bogus companies.
The money was then withdrawn by other members of the team at different cash points. All the members of the team were Russians and the Russian authorities report that in all, the botnet infected 6 million computers! At times, more than 100,000 computers would be used by the botnet on a single day. Given the usefulness of his tool, Hermes was often asked by third parties to ‘rent out’ his botnet to them, which he did.