The FBI has scrubbed some 19,000 PCs that were infected with the Coreflood bot malware, the agency told a federal court this week. The effort is part of an ongoing and unprecedented legal campaign to tackle one of the longest-running and most menacing online crime machines ever built.
In April, the Justice Department and the FBI were granted unprecedented authority to seize control over a criminal botnet that enslaved millions of computers and to use that power to disable the malicious software on infected PCs. On April 11, 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut was granted authority to seize 29 domain names used to control the daily operations of the botnet, and to redirect traffic destined for the control servers to a substitute server that the FBI controlled. More significantly, the FBI was awarded a temporary restraining order (TRO) allowing it to send individual PCs infected with Coreflood a command telling the machines to stop the bot software from running.