US authorities arrest administrator behind 'likely world's largest botnet ever'

US authorities have arrested the alleged administrator behind 'likely the world's largest botnet ever,' according to FBI director Christopher Wray.

1 minute & 16 seconds read time

United States authorities announced they have arrested the administrator behind what is likely the world's largest botnet, which included more than 19 million compromised Windows machines across multiple countries.

US authorities arrest administrator behind 'likely world's largest botnet ever' 0285615

The description of the world's largest botnet comes from FBI director Christopher Wray, who said the botnet was used to gather millions of dollars from people over the last 10 years. More specifically, the FBI director said to the Justice Department that a international cyber operation was conducted to identify the alleged administrator of the botnet known as "911 S5", who was found to be the individual Yunhe Wang. Wang was arrested and US authorities "seized infrastructure and assets, and levied sanctions against Wang and his co-conspirators," said Wray.

The infection of this botnet was truly global, with US officials writing the 911 S5 Botnet had infected PCs in nearly 200 countries and "facilitated a whole host of computer-enabled crimes, including financial frauds, identity theft, and child exploitation." Moreover, the US Treasury wrote in its announcement Wang didn't act alone in the venture, and named two more alleged perpetrators, Jingping Liu and Yanni Zheng. In total, the US authorities believe the botnet netted Wang and others involved $99 million.

Additionally, the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) claims the botnet was used to file fraudulent Coronavirus aid relief claims, "resulting in the loss of billions of dollars to the US government."

Wang if convicted faces 65 years in prison for multiple charges such as conspiracy to commit computer fraud, substantive computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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