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Prolific Botnet Is Disrupted by Six-Nation Enforcement Team

  • U.S., European join forces to take down cybercrime network
  • The operation had targeted banks, governments and schools
Europol headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands.

Europol headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands.

Photographer: Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg

A law enforcement operation involving six countries, including the U.S. and U.K., disrupted one of the world’s most prolific botnets -- a network of computers infected with malware and used in cyber-attacks.

Known as Emotet, its malware has targeted a wide range of networks including global financial institutions and local school districts. Once infected, they become part of the Emotet botnet capable of infecting additional machines. Since April, Emotet has infected more than 1.6 million electronic devices and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for its criminal operators, who are largely in eastern Europe, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.