Eight Caught by FBI's 'Bot Roast II' Investigation

The FBI said Nov. 29 that its continuing investigation into criminal use of "botnets" has so far produced eight indictments or convictions, 13 search warrants served in the United States or abroad, and more than $20 million in economic losses and more than 1 million victimized computers. A botnet is a collection of compromised computers remotely controlled by a criminal "botherder," who takes control of them with viruses, worms, or trojan horse software.

"Today, botnets are the weapon of choice of cyber criminals. They seek to conceal their criminal activities by using third-party computers as vehicles for their crimes," FBI Director Robert Mueller III said. "In Bot Roast II, we see the diverse and complex nature of crimes that are being committed through the use of botnets. Despite this enormous challenge, we will continue to be aggressive in finding those responsible for attempting to exploit unknowing Internet users."

Botherders typically use the computers of others to commit identity theft, launch denial-of-service attacks, and install keystroke loggers. FBI offices in Cincinnati, Detroit, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Sacramento, Washington, D.C., and others participated in Bot Roast II, and the U.S. Secret Service and the New Zealand Police shared information, according to the FBI.

To report fraudulent activity or financial scams, contact local police or a local FBI field office and file an online complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov, the agency recommends.

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