Individuals from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, New Zealand, Peru, Britain and the U.S. were arrested in an operation carried out with the assistance of the Facebook social network and numerous international law enforcement agencies, the FBI said.
The FBI said the operation identified international cybercrime rings that are linked to multiple variants of the Yahos malware, which is linked to more than 11 million compromised computer systems and over $850 million in losses through the so-called Butterfly botnet.
Botnets, short for robot network, are made up of compromised computer systems and can be used by cybercriminals to execute denial of service attacks, send spam emails and conduct underground organized criminal activity, to include malware distribution, the FBI said.
Facebook's security team assisted law enforcement by helping to identify the root cause, the perpetrators and those affected by the malware. Yahos targeted Facebook users from 2010 to October 2012, and security systems were able to detect affected accounts and provide tools to remove these threats, the FBI said in a news release Tuesday.
The FBI recommended that computer users update their applications and operating system on a regular basis to reduce the risk of compromise and perform regular anti-virus scanning of their computer system. The agency said it also is helpful to disconnect personal computers from the Internet when the machines are not in use.
Computer users who believe they have been victimized can file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.