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Facebook Helped in Internet Crime Rings Arrests, FBI Says

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc.’s security team helped name people around the globe suspected of being involved in Internet crime rings that stole identities and defrauded victims of more than $850 million, the FBI said.

The U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and international law enforcement agencies arrested 10 people from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, New Zealand, Peru, the U.K. and the U.S., who are suspected of being members of the crime rings, the FBI said in a statement on its website. Numerous search warrants have also been issued, it said.

The crime rings are linked to variants of the Yahos malicious software, which used a so-called Butterfly Botnet to steal computer users’ credit card, bank account and other personal information, according to the FBI. More than 11 million computer systems were compromised, the agency said.

Facebook helped in identifying the perpetrators and those affected by the malware, the FBI said. Yahos targeted Facebook users from 2010 until October this year, according to the FBI.

Menlo Park, California-based Facebook is the owner of the world’s largest social network with more than 1 billion users.

Reuters reported the FBI investigation earlier today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Schneider in Sydney at jschneider5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Wong at dwong19@bloomberg.net

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