Fresh on the heels of an arresting alleged hacker Peter Levashov in Spain, the Department of Justice announced plans to disable a botnet – known as Kelihos – they claim was under his control and used to send spam emails and infect systems with ransomware. Acting assistant attorney-general Kenneth Blanco said the operation will "redirect Kelihos-infected computers to a substitute server", in order to block communications between infected devices and the botnet server, instead redirecting the compromised machines to the DOJ's own botnet servers. Levashov reportedly had been operating the botnet since 2010, and targeted computers running all variants of Microsoft Windows, the preferred target OS of botnet harvesters worldwide. The Department of Justice statement concluded by stating that "The US government will share samples of the malware with antivirus vendors in facilitate updates to their programs which will allow them to detect and remove Kelihos" while leaving government backdoors firmly in place.
Spanish police (WOT:nonpeople) have raided a number of Bitcoin mining farms and arrested their operators over "money laundering" concerns. The willingness of Spanish police to do this in the face of Chinese and Anglophone mining hegemony exacerbates, but not critically the miner problem. In spite of the love various "anarchists" give Spain, Spain doesn't seem to reciprocate that affection.
Last December, Qntra was the first English language news site to report on the raids by Spanish police at the cybersquat known as Kasa de la Muntanya and while police raids and squats are typically of no import, this raid was notable for the squat's association with a Bitcoin wallet project known as the Dark Wallet. Vice's Motherboard has now posted an update which contains quotes which would be hilarious if not for the fact they were made by the Judge presiding over the matter. Continue reading