Active Stock : Facebook (NASDAQ FB) brings down Lecpetex Botnet

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In an interesting development, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) helped bring down a botnet called Lecpetex. This story shows both the growing sophistication of hackers and the difficulty of getting people to follow straightforward security protocols. Facebook reported that People downloaded and ran .exe files from spam messages despite years of warnings.

The Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) wrote a post about the Lecpetex Botnet, explaining all the technicalities. Facbook especially noted how the botnet quickly infected a quarter million computers in the first place. Apparently, some people are still perfectly willing to run exe files sent to them by total strangers.

The Lecpetex operators sent out spam messages with nonsense messages and attached zip files, then people downloaded the zip files and ran the executable JAR files inside.

Facebook Inc: Lecpetex Botnet Details

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) wrote in a blog post “Based on statistics released by the Greek Police, the botnet may have infected as many as 250,000 computers. Those infections enabled those directing the botnet to hijack those computers and use them to promote social spam, which impacted close to 50,000 accounts at its peak. The botnet operators launched more than 20 distinct waves of spam between December 2013 and June 2014.”

What impressed Facebook Inc’s (NASDAQ:FB) Threat Infrastructure team was that the botnet operators were constantly adjusting the malware’s code to evade anti-virus software. It used a combination of anonymous email accounts in addition to command and control pages to direct the botnet, so that as one resource was stopped by Facebook’s team and law enforcement, another could be used. The botnet was used both to send spam and to mine Litecoins before the accused hackers were picked up by Greek police.

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No matter how hard Facebook Inc (NASDAQ FB) works to keep their network safe from hackers, bad habits have a way of compromising security. The malware may have also been included in malicious torrents, though Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) says it wasn’t able to corroborate those reports.

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