A catastrophic computer event is unfolding. Yesterday NetWitness Corp., a group of computer security researchers located out of Herndon, Virginia, discovered a massive, 75GB amount of stolen data accessed through the Kneber botnet. This spells trouble for computer users across the world and has affected at least 75,000 machines and 2,500 companies, including government agencies. The botnet works by using logins to banks, social networking sits, and email systems and has been destroying security for the past year and a half. The cyber attackers behind this botnet have accessed Facebook, Yahoo, Hotmail, 68,000 corporate logins, 2,000 SSL certificate files, and immeasurable amounts of identity information. The computers affected by this attack give remote access to the botnets creators.
NetWitness made the announcement yesterday that this "highly targeted and well coordinated" attack has hit big companies like: Merck & Co., Cardinal Health Inc., Paramount Pictures and Juniper Networks Inc, as well as at least 10 government agencies in the United States. The attacks started in 1998 from unidentifiable places in Europe and/or China and have had a global impact, affecting at least 196 countries, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Egypt, and the U.S.
NetWitness has only had a month to research the tremendous scope of this botnet and went on record to say: "Disturbingly, the data was only a one-month snapshot of data from a campaign that has been in operation for more than a year."