Over 1 Million Potential Victims of Botnet Cyber Crime

Over 1 Million Potential Victims of Botnet Cyber Crime
Over 1 Million Potential Victims of Botnet Cyber Crime 

For Immediate Release
June 13, 2007
Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office    
(202) 324-3691

Over 1 Million Potential Victims of Botnet Cyber Crime

Today the Department of Justice and FBI announced the results of an 
ongoing cyber crime initiative to disrupt and dismantle botherders and 
elevate the publics cyber security awareness of botnets. OPERATION BOT 
ROAST is a national initiative and ongoing investigations have 
identified over 1 million victim computer IP addresses. The FBI is 
working with our industry partners, including the CERT Coordination 
Center at Carnegie Mellon University, to notify the victim owners of the 
computers. Through this process the FBI may uncover additional incidents 
in which botnets have been used to facilitate other criminal activity.

A botnet is a collection of compromised computers under the remote 
command and control of a criminal botherder. Most owners of the 
compromised computers are unknowing and unwitting victims. They have 
unintentionally allowed unauthorized access and use of their computers 
as a vehicle to facilitate other crimes, such as identity theft, denial 
of service attacks, phishing, click fraud, and the mass distribution of 
spam and spyware. Because of their widely distributed capabilities, 
botnets are a growing threat to national security, the national 
information infrastructure, and the economy.

The majority of victims are not even aware that their computer has been 
compromised or their personal information exploited, said FBI Assistant 
Director for the Cyber Division James Finch. An attacker gains control 
by infecting the computer with a virus or other malicious code and the 
computer continues to operate normally. Citizens can protect themselves 
from botnets and the associated schemes by practicing strong computer 
security habits to reduce the risk that your computer will be 

The FBI also wants to thank our industry partners, such as the Microsoft 
Corporation and the Botnet Task Force, in referring criminal botnet 
activity to law enforcement.

Cyber security tips include updating anti-virus software, installing a 
firewall, using strong passwords, practicing good email and web security 
practices. Although this will not necessarily identify or remove a 
botnet currently on the system, this can help to prevent future botnet 
attacks. More information on botnets and tips for cyber crime prevention 
can be found online at 

The FBI will not contact you online and request your personal 
information so be wary of fraud schemes that request this type of 
information, especially via unsolicited emails. To report fraudulent 
activity or financial scams, contact the nearest FBI office or police 
department, and file a complaint online with the Internet Crime 
Complaint Center, 

To date, the following subjects have been charged or arrested in this 
operation with computer fraud and abuse in violation of Title 18 USC 
1030, including:
* James C. Brewer of Arlington, Texas, is alleged to have operated a 
  botnet that infected Chicago area hospitals. This botnet infected tens 
  of thousands of computers worldwide. (FBI Chicago);
* Jason Michael Downey of Covington, Kentucky, is charged with an 
  Information with using botnets to send a high volume of traffic to 
  intended recipients to cause damage by impairing the availability of 
  such systems. (FBI Detroit); and
* Robert Alan Soloway of Seattle, Washington, is alleged to have used a 
  large botnet network and spammed tens of millions of unsolicited email 
  messages to advertise his website from which he offered services and 
  products. (FBI Seattle)

The FBI will continue to aggressively investigate individuals that 
conduct cyber criminal acts.

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