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The digital detective
Gavin says he knew one thing was up when knowledge analysis showed a spike in pc infections round the world. This like a shot raised suspicion.
The particular strain of botnet he's work, named Ramnit, could be a disreputable and dangerous threat familiar for stealing passwords and debilitating bank accounts.
“It will this by spreading malware through what seem to be trustworthy links sent via phishing emails or social networking sites,” explains Gavin.
“One click of the on the face of it harmless computer address by users, and also the malware is put in. Computers square measure then underneath the management of the hackers, permitting them to access personal info, steal passwords and disable antivirus protection.”
Each red dot on his monitor represents the placement of the infected computers. With this knowledge, he obtains IP addresses and discovers that the compromised computers square measure wont to hook up with the attackers’ command-and-control servers placed in varied countries. Criminals use these special command-and-control servers to run their attacks.
Further investigation reveals that commands from these servers square measure being issued at bound times of the day.
“This is vital as a result of it points to bound locations as being the doable home of these on top of things of the botnet,” explains Gavin.
Now that he has all the items of the puzzle, he puts all along to ascertain the total extent of this threat. Armed with these technical clues, further as knowledge referring to wherever the infrastructure behind Ramnit is found, Gavin shares this counterintelligence with Europol’s law-breaking Center as a part of the investigation.
The take down
Europol wastes no time in getting warrants and maintains constant contact with Gavin. They're already coordinative a thought of action with net service suppliers to pack up the command-and-control servers, send many net domain addresses employed by the botnet's operators and seize their infrastructure.
“Take downs square measure typically dramatic,” says Gavin, “with raids on multiple locations wherever servers square measure housed.”
For the un-fearing threat analyst, It’s business as was common as he touches down at urban center, on the way to Europol’s headquarters wherever, in a very joint operation with enforcement agencies within the Holland, Italy and FRG, he can facilitate take down the malware network.
The cluster behind Ramnit has been operational for a minimum of 5 years and in this time has evolved into a serious criminal enterprise, contaminating quite three million computers worldwide.
One take down at a time, counterintelligence analysts like Gavin and enforcement agencies strike a big blow against cyber criminals.
The one issue threat intelligence analysts all have in common — besides a natural wonder — is that the satisfaction of knowing that they're keeping customers safe.
“That’s our final goal. Our counterintelligence and investigations into cyber criminals not solely helps catch the dangerous guys, it helps build higher security measures back to our product and services — for our customers.”
By: Carl Marx
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