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Mariposa Botnet Creators May Not Face Imprisonment

According to Luis Corrons (Technical Director at Panda Security), the culprits behind the notorious 'Mariposa botnet' are unlikely to be punished over the crimes they committed. Corrons in a joint action with the Spanish Guardia Civil, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other groups worked to spot and bring down Mariposa during December 2009, as reported by V3 on June 2, 2010.

The botnet, which controlled a massive 13 Million zombie PCs, was taken down on May 3, 2010. Moreover, the Spanish law enforcement arrested suspected criminals going by the online names 'hamlet1917' and 'Netkairo' and their immediate partners in the botnet's operation, 'Johnyloleante' and 'Ostiator.'

The Mariposa botnet expanded immensely. It stole account details of social-networking websites users, credit card information, banking credentials and usernames and passwords by compromising a huge 12.7 Million IP addresses in over 190 countries.

Apart from PandaLabs which was behind the spotting and closure of Mariposa, the Georgia Tech Information Security Center and Defense Intelligence also led the Mariposa Working Group.

This particular group disclosed that Mariposa was proliferating successfully through USB drives, MSN links and P2P networks.

Nevertheless, Corrons noted pessimistically that those detained would hardly be penalized because running a botnet isn't considered a specific offence in Spain.

The Director elaborated that it would be necessary for the Police to establish the allegation that the culprits captured data and used it to make cash. While this might take a number of years, according to the Police, the culprits weren't going to be incarcerated, Corrons stated, as reported by V3 on June 2, 2010.

Corrons believes that although the officials in Spain are tightening up legislation in this field, their action may turn out too late to prosecute the Mariposa masterminds running the biggest botnet ever detected.

Hence, the Director stated that it was becoming more and more important for having the global co-operation among law enforcement agencies considering the fact that malicious bot networks could be built with comparatively less technological acumen although they inflicted widespread destruction.

Related article: Mariposa Botnets Could Control Cookies

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