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HomeCyber SecurityUS-Led Operation Dismantles World's Largest Botnet: 911 S5 Botnet

US-Led Operation Dismantles World’s Largest Botnet: 911 S5 Botnet

The Massive Scale of 911 S5 Botnet

In a groundbreaking operation, US-led law enforcement has successfully disrupted the 911 S5 botnet, believed to be the world’s largest. This extensive network encompassed millions of residential Windows computers globally, serving as a hub for cybercriminals to conduct various illegal activities. These nefarious operations included large-scale fraud, child exploitation, and other serious crimes.

The sheer magnitude of the 911 S5 botnet is astounding. It involved over 19 million unique IP addresses worldwide, with 613,841 IP addresses located in the United States alone. Consequently, criminals could purchase access to these infected IP addresses, effectively renting a vast army of compromised computers for their malicious purposes.

Arrest and Charges Chinese National

In a significant development, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) announced the arrest of YunHe Wang, a 35-year-old Chinese national. Wang faces serious charges related to creating and operating the 911 S5 botnet. These charges include conspiracy to commit computer fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. If convicted on all counts, Wang could potentially face up to 65 years in prison.

Furthermore, the financial scale of Wang’s alleged operations was staggering. According to the DoJ, Wang received approximately $99 million between 2018 and 2022 from sales of hijacked proxied IP addresses through the 911 S5 operation.

The Inner Workings of 911 S5

An indictment unsealed on May 24 shed light on the botnet’s intricate operations. Allegedly, Wang and his accomplices began their operation in 2014, creating and spreading malware to build their network of infected computers. They cleverly distributed this malware through VPN programs like MaskVPN and DewVPN, as well as pay-per-install services that bundled the malware with other programs.

To manage this vast network, Wang reportedly controlled about 150 dedicated servers worldwide, with 76 leased from US-based online service providers. These servers played a crucial role in managing the network, deploying applications, controlling infected devices, and providing customer access to proxied IP addresses.

Impact and Losses

The impact of the 911 S5 botnet on businesses and individuals was severe. For instance, the US government estimates that 560,000 fraudulent unemployment claims originated from compromised IP addresses, resulting in over $5.9 billion in confirmed fraudulent losses. Additionally, the botnet enabled theft from financial institutions, credit card issuers, and federal lending programs, even targeting COVID-19 pandemic relief programs.

International Effort to Dismantle 911 S5

The dismantling of the botnet was a result of a coordinated international effort involving law enforcement from the US, Singapore, Thailand, and Germany. As part of the operation, officers seized 23 domains and over 70 servers linked to 911 S5, effectively shutting down Wang and his accomplices’ ability to use the network.

Moreover, the operation resulted in the seizure of assets worth approximately $30 million from residences, with additional forfeitable property valued at around $30 million identified.

Conclusion

Assistant Secretary Matthew S. Axelrod of the US Department of Commerce’s BIS aptly summarized the case, stating it “reads like it’s ripped from a screenplay.” He highlighted the scheme’s massive scale and the criminals’ use of profits for luxury purchases.

In conclusion, this successful operation marks a significant victory in the ongoing battle against cybercrime. It demonstrates the power of international cooperation in tackling complex, global criminal networks. As cyber threats continue to evolve, such collaborative efforts will undoubtedly remain crucial for maintaining the security and integrity of our digital world.

Christin
Christinhttps://secry.me/explore
A cybersecurity practitioner with more than 5 years of experience in the cybersecurity world. Has an interest in creating simple blog websites, learning about SEO and graphic design, writing, AI, and understanding the concepts of journalism. Intentionally created this website to make the world of cybersecurity more engaging by combining it with journalistic principles and presenting cybersecurity stories that are easy to understand, which can help anyone who wants to develop in the cybersecurity world.

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