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US Department of Justice smashes 911 S5 botnet run by Chinese national

World map with the word botnet in front of it

The United States Department of Justice, with international partners, has taken down a botnet called 911 S5 which was being used by Chinese national, YunHe Wang, 35, to commit cyber attacks, large-scale fraud, child exploitation, harassment, bomb threats, and export violations. The FBI said that it's likely the largest botnet ever.

The arrest of YunHe Wang, who is a Chinese national and St. Kitts and Nevis citizen-by-investment, was arrested on May 24 and is charged with deploying malware as well as creating and operating the botnet.

The indictment against Wang says that he and others had created and spread malware to Windows computers to bring them under his control. The indictment said that these devices were associated with 19 million IP addresses, including 613,841 IP addresses in the United States. Wang would make money by selling access to the botnet to cybercriminals for a fee.

Commenting on the arrest, US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, said:

“This Justice Department-led operation brought together law enforcement partners from around the globe to disrupt 911 S5, a botnet that facilitated cyber-attacks, large-scale fraud, child exploitation, harassment, bomb threats, and export violations. As a result of this operation, YunHe Wang was arrested on charges that he created and operated the botnet and deployed malware. This case makes clear that the long arm of the law stretches across borders and into the deepest shadows of the dark web, and the Justice Department will never stop fighting to hold cybercriminals to account.”

The malware used to enrol computers in the 911 S5 botnet was spread through virtual private network (VPN) programs like MaskVPN, DewVPN, PaladinVPN, ProxyGate, ShieldVPN, and ShineVPN as well as pirated versions of licensed software and copyrighted materials.

If you believe you could be affected by the 911 S5 malware, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has a guide explaining how to identify and remove the malware from your Windows computer.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve been affected by this botnet and whether the FBI’s guide was useful if you were affected.

Source: US Department of Justice | Image via Depositphotos.com

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