Facebook helped the FBI bust an international crime ring that infected 11 million computers and caused $850 million in losses, according to reports.
The FBI, working with several international law enforcement agencies, arrested 10 people suspected of infecting the computers with the malicious program "Yahos,", then stole credit card, and other personal information, according to Reuters. Facebook's security team helped the FBI when Yahos targeted Facebook users from 2010 to October 2012. Facebook helped identify those involved and accounts that were affected.
The FBI, working with the U.S. Department of Justice , said the accused hackers used the "butterfly botnet," a network of compromised computers that can be used to attack other computers. Those arrested were from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, New Zealand, Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States, but only after search warrants and many interviews.
The FBI declined to break down the $850 million in losses.
We probably know that Facebook keeps tabs on us despite what privacy settings
we use, so news like this shouldn't surprise anyone. In this instance, Facebook may have caught the bad guys and stopped them from further wrongdoing, which is admirable -- but where does that start and where does it end? As always, we caution putting much information on Facebook unless you are OK with it being read by several other people you don't know including the FBI.
Published at 4:36 PM PST on Dec 12, 2012