Google Takes Steps to Counter Glupteba Botnet

Close up of Google logo on an office building

Tech giant Google said it has taken action to combat Glupteba, a sophisticated botnet that specifically targets Windows devices. The company said its actions will include coordinated technical efforts with its industry partners to disrupt the botnet’s operations.

Additionally, Google plans to take legal action against Glupteba’s operators. If the petition succeeds, it will create a legal liability on the botnet’s operators. Google believes this will significantly disrupt Glupteba’s operations.

Google said that this effort is part of its “ongoing work to protect people who use Google services via Windows and other IoT devices.”

About Glupteba Botnet

Google’s thorough investigation has found that the Glupteba botnet involves close to “one million compromised Windows devices worldwide.” On top of that, the number of infected devices grows at an alarming rate every day.

The botnet steals its victims’ credentials and other information. It is also known to mine cryptocurrencies and set up proxies to funnel internet traffic on infected devices. You can check out our detailed article to learn more about botnets and the damage they can do.

Growing Use of Blockchain Technology by Cybercriminals

The company said that its Threat Analysis Group has detected and tracked the botnet’s malicious activity over time. It added that Glupteba uses blockchain technology to protect itself. This allows it to quickly recover from disruptions, and also makes it much harder to shut down.

Google also commented that many cybercrime organizations are using blockchain technology to make them more resilient. “The decentralized nature of blockchain allows the botnet to recover more quickly from disruptions, making them that much harder to shut down. We are working closely with industry and government as we combat this type of behavior, so that even if Glupteba returns, the internet will be better protected against it,” the company said in its blog post.

Google’s Plan of Action

Google has coordinated with its industry partners to take technical action. As of now, it has disrupted Glupteba’s key command and control infrastructure. This means that the operators should no longer have control over the botnet for the time being.

However, Google believes that this is not enough to completely shut down Glupteba’s operations. Therefore, the company has taken legal action against the botnet’s operators, who are believed to be based in Russia.

The company has filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York on grounds including computer fraud and abuse, and trade infringement. It has also filed a temporary restraining order against the operators. Google believes that if the action is successful, it will create a “real legal liability for the operators.”

Technology policy researcher
Prateek is a technology policy researcher with a background in law. His areas of interest include data protection, privacy, digital currencies, and digital literacy. Outside of his research interests, Prateek is an avid reader and is engaged in projects on sustainable farming practices in India.