Google recently disrupted a botnet that infected approximately one million Windows PCs globally. A botnet is a massive network of computers infected by malware owned by a single attacking party. This one, in particular, is by far the largest botnet to date named Glupteba.
Google has traced its origins to at least two individuals based out of Russia. The country has become a haven for many cybercriminals over the years. However, Google has since sued both individuals. The company hopes it will “set a precedent, create legal and liability risks for botnet operators, and help deter future activity.”
The Glupteba botnet uses malware to steal personal data, mine cryptocurrencies, and funnel internet traffic from infected devices. According to Google, the botnet malware adds about 1,000 devices per day. The malware was on suspicious websites that offered free software.
According to the Washington Post, the hackers used Google’s services to distribute the malware. Since then, more than 1,000 accounts used to spread Glupteba have been suspended.
Google having trouble shutting down Glupteba botnet
After working with various internet service providers, the company has temporarily disrupted botnet malware. The main reason Google can’t completely shut it down is that Glupteba botnet uses blockchain technology. Because of that, it automatically uses data encoded on the Bitcoin blockchain for instructions on how to reconnect.
“The decentralized nature of blockchain allows the botnet to recover more quickly from disruptions, making them that much harder to shut down.”
The use of blockchain technology is becoming more common among cybercrime organizations. This makes it hard to completely shut down malware that is using it. For now, the only solution is to have some anti-virus installed on your device. Take a look at our guide for the best anti-virus software to use.