northernboy and many other readers sent news of the beheading of the Mariposa botnet
with three arrests in Spain. "Defense Intelligence of Ottawa working with ISPs and Spanish authorities have taken down yet another > 12M PC botnet, called Mariposa. The three top-level operators are in custody, but remain anonymous under Spanish law (how quaint: apparently in Spain, the accused have some right to privacy). AP is claiming that the botnet included systems in roughly half of the Fortune 1000 companies, scattered over 190 countries. Interesting details: none of the three principals has a prior criminal record. Although apparently hardworking, they are not uber-hackers, but rather had connections to the Spanish mafia, which apparently helped to equip them. At the time of arrest, they were not showing signs of their significant new income level. From the article: 'Chris Davis, CEO of Ottawa-based Defence Intelligence, said he noticed the infections when they appeared on networks of some of his firm's clients, including pharmaceutical companies and banks. It wasn't until several months later that he realized the infections were part of something much bigger. After seeing that some of the servers used to control computers in the botnet were located in Spain, Davis and researchers from the Georgia Tech Information Security Center joined with software firm Panda Security, which is headquartered in Bilbao, Spain. The investigators caught a few lucky breaks. For one, the suspects used Internet services that wound up cooperating with investigators. That isn't always the case.'"