Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT/Embedded Security //


12:20 PM
Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson
News Analysis-Security Now

Andromeda Botnet Dismantled by International Law Enforcement Coalition

The FBI, along with several other European law enforcement agencies, shut down the massive Andromeda Botnet, which was involved in 80 different malware families and infected millions of PCs.

A group of international law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are claiming a victory over the massive Andromeda botnet, which infected at least 1 million PCs each month and spawned a wave of malware families.

Andromeda, which was also known by the name Gamarue, has been active at least six years and was used to create about 80 different malware families. The botnet was also used to create the Avalanche network, which launched a massive global cyberattack, mainly targeting online banking systems, which caused about 6 million Euros ($7.09 million) in damages in Germany alone.

Avalanche was shut down about a year ago, and information from that case led authorities to Andromeda, according to Europol.

Avalanche remains ongoing as more than half of the infected computers are still in operation.

In addition to the FBI, the coalition that investigated and stopped Andromeda included the Luneburg Central Criminal Investigation Inspectorate in Germany, Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), the Joint Cybercrime Action Task Force (J-CAT) and Eurojust.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), ESET , along with other private companies, also played a role.

The coalition shut down Andromeda on November 29, but did not officially announce that the botnet was dismantled until December 4.

The process to close the Andromeda botnet involved "sinkholing," where the traffic flowing between infected computers and the cybercriminal that control the network are diverted to other servers overseen by law enforcement. In this case, the authorities used about 1,500 domains as part of the sinkholing operation.

Within 48 hours, Microsoft found about 2 million unique IP addresses infected with Andromeda malware from 223 different countries. Law enforcement made several arrests in Belarus, but no information about who was arrested and what the charges filed against them were released.

However, it was the original Avalanche investigation in 2016 that led the Andromeda botnet.

"Insights gained during the Avalanche case by the investigating German law enforcement entities were shared, via Europol, with the FBI and supported this year’s investigations to dismantle the Andromeda malware last week," according to a statement.

Created in 2011, Andromeda or Gamarue has been sold as a kit on the dark web and was used to steal credentials, as well as being able to download and install additional malware onto PCs.

"This malware family is a customizable bot, which allows the owner to create and use custom plugins. One such plugin allows the cybercriminal to steal content entered by users in web forms while another enables criminals to connect back and control compromised systems," according to ESET.

Researchers were also able to find independent Gamarue botnets in the wild and samples of it spread across the web through social media, instant messaging, removable media, spam and other exploit kits.

Related posts:

— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud News. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-04
An issue was discovered in RICOH Streamline NX Client Tool and RICOH Streamline NX PC Client that allows attackers to escalate local privileges.
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-04
The administrative interface of Cohesive Networks vns3:vpn appliances before version 4.11.1 is vulnerable to authenticated remote code execution leading to server compromise.
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-04
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in [Calendar01] free edition ver1.0.0 and [Calendar02] free edition ver1.0.0 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators via unspecified vectors.
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-04
[Calendar01], [Calendar02], [PKOBO-News01], [PKOBO-vote01], [Telop01], [Gallery01], [CalendarForm01], and [Link01] [Calendar01] free edition ver1.0.0, [Calendar02] free edition ver1.0.0, [PKOBO-News01] free edition ver1.0.3 and earlier, [PKOBO-vote01] free edition ver1.0.1 and earlier, [Telop01] fre...
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-04
Privilege escalation vulnerability in SKYSEA Client View Ver.12.200.12n to 15.210.05f allows an attacker to obtain unauthorized privileges and modify/obtain sensitive information or perform unintended operations via unspecified vectors.