Runbox was recently informed via our Internet Service Provider that a global botnet (robot network) consisting of hundreds of thousands of computers has been disrupted by the FBI.
In a coordinated operation taking place on August 29 in the US and several European countries, the malware (malicious software) known as Qakbot was removed from a large number of infected computers around the world.
Since 2008, Qakbot had spread to victim computers mainly through spam email messages that contained malicious attachments or links. The infected computers effectively comprised a multinational infrastructure that cybercriminals utilized to commit ransomware, financial fraud, and other criminal activities.
In recent years the Qaknet botnet grew rapidly and some estimates state that it was related to around 25% of malware websites and responsible for extorting their victims through ransom payments amounting to tens of millions of dollars over the past couple of years.
As a security and privacy conscious email service we welcome this news and congratulate law enforcement on disrupting a vast network of cyber criminals who have victimized individuals and businesses on a large scale for decades.
Qaknet has also impacted some Runbox customers and we are contacting those affected directly via email in order to ensure their accounts are secured.
We strongly recommend that all email users utilize antivirus and antimalware software in addition to the spam and virus filters that are available in your email account. You can find a comparison of such software for various platforms at Wikipedia.
More information about the dismantling of Qaknet can be found here:
- FBI, Partners Dismantle Qakbot Infrastructure in Multinational Cyber Takedown: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/fbi-partners-dismantle-qakbot-infrastructure-in-multinational-cyber-takedown
- Qakbot – the takedown and the remediation: https://www.spamhaus.org/news/article/819/qakbot-the-takedown-and-the-remediation