Facebook and the FBI have teamed up to arrest 10 people and officially shut down the highly illegal and successful Butterfly botnet.
The FBI had been working with various international law enforcement agencies to hunt down the network which was operated throughout seven countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, several Eastern European countries and Peru.
The FBI has not revealed which country racked up the most arrests.
Through the botnets attacks more than 11 million computers were infected with malware that allowed the criminals to operate the Butteryfly Botnet while stealing credit card and bank account information along with other personal identity info.
The Butterfly Botnet is estimated to have stolen more than $850 million. The network started going after Facebook users in 2010 which lead Facebook to launch its own investigation and then provide significant results with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The criminal syndicate used infected Facebook accounts to further spread its malware onto various computers.
Jeremiah Owyang, an analyst with the Altimeter Group, tells Web-Strategist:
[quote type=”large” align=”left”]While only a small subset of the 11 million computers infected had accounts on Facebook, our malware researchers were able to provide intelligence to law enforcement about the virus’ architecture and the perpetrators responsible, culminating in the arrests this week.” [/quote]
While the Butterfly Botnet is shut down officials still warn that infected computers may still be at risk of identity theft.