Russian and Dutch Officials Detain Georg Avanesov, A Bot-Collector

Russian and Dutch authorities in a secret operation recently arrested 27-year-old Georg Avanesov a bot herder during the end-week of October 2010, according to techspot.com, which reported the news on October 29, 2010.

It is suspected that Avanesov operated a botnet that contained hijacked PCs from across the globe for more than ten years. As a result, he amassed a huge wealth counting to millions.

It's also suspected that the person, amongst others, maintained the Trojan Bredolab, which is normally downloaded mistakenly during exploitation of vulnerabilities in Web-browsers alternatively via e-mail attachments. Once the malware contaminates a PC, the latter can be utilized for taking down and running arbitrary files circulated over the Net. Moreover, it's believed that the Trojan infected a total of 3m computers every month.

Said Spokesman Wim De Bruin for the Public Prosecution Service in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), prosecutors from The Netherlands apparently are sure that Avanesov, who hired out and sold his malicious network only to carry out spamming activities, earned 100,000 euros ($139,000) per month. ComputerWorld.com published this on October 29, 2010. Bruin further said that Avanesov managed to sell portions from his botnet as he could easily contaminate more computers and maintain the botnet's size.

Enlightening further on the method of operation by Avanesov, Team Leader Pim Takkenberg for the High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands Policy Agency stated that Avanesov often utilized the hacker pseudonym "Atata" and "padonaque" as also the e-mail id i.am@padonaque.info for quite a number of years. Moreover, the padonaque.info domain had been, for long, linked up with various malware families, Takkenberg stated. Krebsonsecurity.com published this on October 30, 2010.

The Team Leader added that Avanesov's main activity was to abuse numerous hijacked websites for constructing the Bredolab botnet.

In the meantime, the Dutch officials arrested another bot-herder too named Igor Gusev who had links with the Bredolab botnet. The detentions of both these bot-herders thus indicate that those responsible for enforcing law are acting more seriously and in a coordinated manner against illegal spam and networks that distribute malicious software by catching and punishing the perpetrators appropriately.

Related article: Russian Hackers Break into NOAA to Push Pills

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