(CN) – Federal prosecutors in Connecticut unsealed a complaint Wednesday in the Justice Department’s efforts to shut down an international botnet, a system of hacked and infected computers that steal information from Windows users.
Authorities issued seizure warrants, a temporary restraining order and memoranda along with a civil complaint against 13 unknown defendants allegedly involved with the operation of the Coreflood software program.
Coreflood installs itself onto vulnerable computers that use the Windows operating system, giving hackers remote access to steal personal and financial information from unwitting users. In the last decade it has infected more than two million computers, prosecutors say.
The U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut obtained a seizure warrant for 29 domain names in an attempt to shut down major hacker activity. The government’s temporary restraining order allows it to respond to signals sent from infected computers to stop the Coreflood software.
“Botnets and the cyber criminals who deploy them jeopardize the economic security of the United States and the dependability of the nation’s information infrastructure,” said Shawn Henry, an assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division.
“These actions to mitigate the threat posed by the Coreflood botnet are the first of their kind in the United States and reflect our commitment to being creative and proactive in making the Internet more secure.”