US DOJ Claims Russian Botnet Dismantled

The United States Department of Justice announced on Thursday that it had dismantled the infrastructure of a Russian group of hacked internet-connected devices that have hacked millions of computers and devices worldwide, along with law enforcement from Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

US Attorney Randy Grossman said that the Russian botnet known as ‘RSOCKS’ comprised millions of devices worldwide and offered cybercriminals the opportunity to purchase access to the IP addresses of the compromised systems.

In a release, the US Department of Justice said the RSOCKS botnet initially targeted Internet of Things devices, such as industrial control systems, time clocks, routers, and garage door openers.

“The RSOCKS botnet compromised millions of devices throughout the world. Cybercriminals will not escape justice regardless of where they operate. Working with public and private partners around the globe, we will relentlessly pursue them while using all the tools at our disposal to disrupt their threats and prosecute those responsible,” Grossman said.

The US Department of Justice said that RSOCKS users paid a fee ranging from $30 and $200 per day to route illicit internet activity through hacked devices to mask or hide the source of the traffic.

“It is believed that the users of this type of proxy service were conducting large scale attacks against authentication services, also known as credential stuffing, and anonymizing themselves when accessing compromised social media accounts, or sending malicious email, such as phishing messages,” the US Department of Justice said.

The US Department of Justice said that the RSOCKS botnet had exploited several large public and private entities, including a university, a hotel, a television studio, an electronics manufacturer, and home businesses and individuals.

The FBI investigated the case and is prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Jonathan I. Shapiro of the Southern District of California and Ryan K.J. Dickey, Senior Counsel for the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section.


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