Google is stepping up its efforts to fight cybercrime as the tech giant recently announced a legal victory against distributors of the notorious CryptBot malware.
Crackdown on Cyber Criminals
As the latest step in its ongoing campaign against cybercriminals, Google has successfully filed a civil lawsuit against malware distributors responsible for CryptBot, a type of malicious software designed to steal sensitive information from users’ computers.
Google estimates that CryptBot infected around 670,000 computers in the past year alone, targeting mostly Google Chrome users.
A federal judge in the Southern District of New York unsealed the civil suit. It represents Google’s ongoing commitment to disrupting cybercriminal ecosystems that aim to exploit online users.
This follows Google’s success last year in holding operators of the Glupteba botnet to account.
Understand CryptBot malware
Classified as an “infostealer,” CryptBot can identify and extract sensitive data from victims’ computers, including authentication credentials, social media account logins, cryptocurrency wallets, and more.
The stolen data is then harvested and sold to bad actors for use in anti-privacy campaigns.
Cyber criminals proliferating CryptBot offered maliciously modified versions of popular software packages like Google Earth Pro and Google Chrome to unsuspecting users.
The malware targets Google Chrome users, prompting Google’s CyberCrimes Investigations Group (CCIG) and Threat Analysis Group (TAG) to take action against the distributors.
Legal Strategy & Disruption
Google’s lawsuit targeted several major CryptBot dealers believed to be based in Pakistan and running a global criminal enterprise.
The legal complaint includes claims of computer fraud and abuse, and trademark infringement.
To prevent the spread of CryptBot, the court issued an injunction allowing Google to delete current and future domains linked to the spread of the malware.
This measure aims to slow new infections and slow the growth of CryptBot, while setting a precedent and scrutinizing those who profit from criminal activity.
Protection against malware
As part of its efforts to protect users from cyber threats, the Cybercrime Support Network recommends several steps individuals can take to protect themselves from malware like CryptBot:
- Download from trusted sources like official websites or app stores and heed Chrome Safe Browsing warnings.
- Do your research and read reviews before downloading any software.
- Regularly update your operating system and any software you use, including installing security patches and fixing bugs.
A glimpse of what’s coming next
Google’s recent lawsuit against the distributors of CryptBot malware is a significant step in bringing cybercriminals to justice.
Google is working to keep Internet users safer by taking legal action against both botnet operators and those who financially benefit from the spread of malware.
Google is committed to this goal and intends to continue this effort.
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