AKILL controlled a botnet of 1.3 million PCs, says OPTA

The Dutch telecommunications regulator OPTA fines Dutch spyware makers #1 million

The Dutch telecommunications regulator OPTA has fined the two companies behind the DollarRevenue adware program €1 million (NZ$1.89 million), reports InfoWorld Nederland. A tip from abroad put OPTA on the trail of several online criminals, including alleged botnet herder AKILL, 18-year-old Owen Walker from Whitianga, whose house was raided last month, says OPTA's lead investigator, Daan Molenaar. AKILL controlled a botnet of 1.3 million PCs, he says. "The people behind DollarRevenue maintained detailed payment records," Molenaar told InfoWorld Nederland. The two companies behind DollarRevenue infected more than 22 million computers, says OPTA. Executives of the firms were fined up to €300,000 (NZ$566,000) each, and their companies also received fines of €200,000 to €300,000. OPTA declined to disclose the names of the firms and their executives for legal reasons. The malware makers pushed their wares by paying botnet herders, websites and other distributors a fee per installation. Installations on European computers were valued at €0.15 each, US computers were valued at US$0.25 and computers in third-world nations yielded only a few cents. The DollarRevenue distributors operated between October 2005 and November 2006. Only 1-2% of the victims were residents of the Netherlands.

The forensic analysis of the computers seized from Walker's home is still in progress, Waikato Police detective inspector Peter Devoy told Computerworld last week. Walker has not been arrested.

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