Yunhe Wang charged with running ‘largest ever’ malware network

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By Creative Media News

  • US authorities dismantle a global botnet of 19 million infected computers
  • Botnet operator Yunhe Wang arrested, accused of cybercrime and fraud
  • $30 million seized; Wang faces up to 65 years in prison

The eradication of a global network of 19 million infected computers, which was employed to facilitate and conceal cybercrimes such as fraud, identity theft, and child exploitation, has been announced by authorities in the United States.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Justice announced that Yunhe Wang, 35, was apprehended on Friday for purportedly operating the botnet known as “911 S5.

Wang is purported to have operated the botnet, which consisted of infected IP addresses in over 190 countries, for eight years beginning in 2014. He is accused of generating millions of dollars by providing cybercriminals with access to the network for a fee.

Wang is purported to have spent $99 million on luxury vehicles and real estate in the United States, St. Kitts and Nevis, China, Singapore, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates using the illicit profits he generated from the scheme.

It is alleged that Wang disseminated his malware through pay-per-install services that combined his malware with other program files, including pirated versions of licensed software and Virtual Private Network (VPN) programs, including MaskVPN and DewVPN, as per court documents.

According to Department of Justice officials, the operation, which was conducted in collaboration with law enforcement agencies in Singapore, Thailand, and Germany, resulted in the seizure of assets valued at approximately $30 million and the identification of additional forfeitable property.

This Justice Department-led operation brought together law enforcement partners from around the world to disrupt 911 S5, a botnet that facilitated cyber-attacks, large-scale fraud, child exploitation, harassment, bomb threats, and export violations,” Attorney General Merrick B Garland stated in a news release.

Garland further stated, “This case underscores the Justice Department’s unwavering commitment to holding cybercriminals accountable, as the long arm of the law extends beyond national borders and into the shadows of the dark web.”

According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the dismantled network was “likely the world’s largest botnet ever.”

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Wray stated in a statement, “This operation is a testament to the FBI’s dedication to collaborating with our partners to safeguard American businesses and the American people. We will continue to work tirelessly to identify and apprehend the cybercriminals who profit from this illegal activity.”

Wang is currently being charged with conspiracy to commit computer fraud, substantive computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

He is subject to a maximum penalty of 65 years in prison if convicted of all offenses.

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