A special team of investigators The High Tech Crime Team (THTC) has dismantled a criminal computer network. The network known as Bredolab is a so-called botnet, which has infected at least 30 million computers throughout the world since July 2009.
In cooperation with a Dutch hosting provider, the Dutch Forensic Institute NFI and internet security company GOVCERT.NL and Fox.IT, the Dutch computer emergency response team seized 143 infected computer servers and disconnected them from the internet according to the Public Prosecution Office on its website.
The computer servers used by Bredolab were rented in the Netherlands from Leaseweb, the country's biggest hosting provider. Leaseweb gave its full cooperation to the investigation.
Bredolab is a so-called Trojan horse, a virus which enters computers unnoticed and allows other harmful software (malware) to be downloaded. Cyber criminals use Bredolab to steal financial data and passwords. They also spy on the computer's activities and record keystrokes.
Owners of infected computers will receive a notice next time they start up their computers that their hardware is infected. They will also be given tips on how to get rid of the virus.
Although the botnet has been downed the cyber criminals have not been caught. It is likely that they are located in Eastern Europe.