Microsoft, FBI Bust Wide-Scale Global Botnet Ring Called ‘Dorkbot’

There are two Dorkbots. One is a nerdy group of organizations that sponsor grassroots meetings of artists, engineers, designers, scientists, inventors, and anyone else involved in electronic art. Their motto is "people doing strange things with electricity," and they're cool. We like them. They're not affiliated with the other Dorkbot, which is the name of a botnet that the FBI just broke up.

Despite the goofy name, Dorkbot was no laughing matter. Security researchers have been tracking Dorkbot for more than four years, during which time it's grown to infect over 1 million Windows PCs spread across 190 countries. Those behind the botnet used it launch cyberattacks and steal sensitive data.


Left unchecked, it would have infected many more computers, as it was spreading to anywhere from 80,000 to 120,000 new systems every month. According to Microsoft, it was also targeting login details for various online services, including Facebook, Gmail, Netflix, PayPal, and Twitter.

Microsoft assisted the FBI in tracking down and breaking up Dorkbot. Credit also goes to the European Cybercrime Center and the Interpol Digital Crime Center. It was a group effort among multiple agencies to bring Dorkbot down after running rampant for several years.

You can expect more of this sort of thing as the international community pays more attention to botnets. For example, earlier this year the FBI (again assisted by foreign partners) brought down the Beebone botnet, and last year saw the destruction of the GameOver Zeus botnet.