US authorities [1] [2] [3] [4] [5], in collaboration with the FBI [2], have successfully shut down the IPStorm botnet and apprehended Sergei Makinin, a Moldovan-Russian national [3] [5], who has pleaded guilty to violating US fraud laws [3].


Makinin caused unauthorized damage to protected computers by using the botnet to infect various devices worldwide, including Windows [2], Linux [2] [4], Mac [2] [4], Android [2] [4], and iOS systems [2]. He then created proxies from the infected devices, which were rented out to cyber-criminals to launch anonymous cyber-attacks and bypass security filters. The Department of Justice has stated that the botnet victimized computers and electronic devices in Asia [4], Europe [4], North America [4], and South America [4]. Makinin admitted to earning at least $550,000 from this fraudulent scheme [5]. The successful takedown of the botnet was a collaborative effort led by the FBI, with support from other law enforcement agencies and cybersecurity companies [1], including Bitdefender [3].


This operation highlights the effectiveness of public-private partnerships in combating cybercrime and serves as a warning to cybercriminals that they will face consequences regardless of their location. To prevent device compromise, the FBI urges device owners to regularly update their software [5].