- 800,000 computers fell victim to the virus set up in 2016.
- The server distributed the virus to computers in more than 100 countries.
- The police created a similar server that was used to deactivate the virus.
The discovery of a network of infected computers in France put the police on their toes to dismantle the virus. The pirate serve’s location was narrowed down to Paris following a tip off. The France C3N digital crime-fighting center received an alert from Avast in the spring of 2019. The server distributed the virus to computers in more than 100 countries.
The virus sent via email was used by the criminals to control computers without raising the attention of the owners. The virus then initiated the process of creating Monero cryptocurrency, extorting money by asking for “ransomware” as well as stealing data from hospitals in Israel. The report by the police says that the operators are likely to have made millions of euros since the virus inception in 2016. Unfortunately, the operators are still on the run.
Jean-Dominique Nollet, C3N chief speaking to France Inter radio said:
“We managed to track down where the command server was, the control tower for the “botnet” network of infected computers.”
The police were able to make a similar server that was used to deactivate the virus on all the computers affected.
“People may not realize it but 850,000 infected computers means massive firepower, enough to bring down all the (civilian) websites on the planet.”