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FBI Operation Aims To Take Down Massive Russian GRU Botnet

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation has disclosed it carried out an operation in March to mass-remove malware from thousands of compromised routers that formed a massive botnet controlled by Russian intelligence. From a report: The operation was authorized by courts in California and Pennsylvania, allowing the FBI to copy and remove the so-called Cyclops Blink malware from infected Asus and WatchGuard routers across the U.S., severing the devices from the servers that remotely control and send instructions to the wider botnet. The Justice Department announced the March operation on Wednesday, describing it as “successful,” but warned that device owners should still take immediate action to prevent reinfection.

The Justice Department said that since the news first emerged about the rising threat of Cyclops Blink in February, thousands of compromised devices have been secured, but justified the court-ordered operation because the “majority” of infected devices were still compromised just weeks later in mid-March. Cyclops Blink is believed to be the successor to VPNFilter, a botnet largely neglected after it was exposed by security researchers in 2018 and later targeted by a U.S. government operation to disrupt its command and control servers. Both Cyclops Blink and VPNFilter are attributed to Sandworm, a group of hackers working for Russia’s GRU, the country’s military intelligence unit.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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