The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
(CRTC) announced on Thursday, December 3, 2015, that
it had served its first-ever warrant under Canada's anti-spam
law (CASL, enacted July 2014) to take down a command-and-control
server located in Toronto, Ontario, that was being used to
distribute Win32/Dorkbot malware.
The CRTC indicated in its press release that it was
working in close collaboration with its partners, including the
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Europol, Interpol, Microsoft Inc.,
the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Public Safety Canada and
the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre.
"We are pleased to work alongside our partners
during this investigation to mitigate the harm caused to Canadians
and citizens in other countries by Dorkbot," said CRTC Chief
Compliance and Enforcement Officer Manon Bombardier. "These
are very egregious botnets that are used for illicit activities and
can lead to identity theft and fraud. This operation shows that
partnerships between domestic and international law enforcement
agencies are key in the fight against transnational cyber threats.
I am grateful the RCMP provided assistance in this
Dorkbot, which was first seen in 2011, spreads
through USB flash drives, instant messaging programs, and social
networks. Once a computer becomes compromised, it can be instructed
to: steal passwords used for online banking and payments; download
and install dangerous malware; and join other infected computers in
sending multiple requests to a specific server in the hopes of
overwhelming its capacity to respond (known as a distributed denial
of service attack).
In a blog post, Microsoft said that it began
noticing that Dorkbot was attempting to hijack login details for
people's Facebook, Gmail, Netflix, PayPal and Twitter
The warrant was granted by a judge of the Ontario
Court of Justice and was carried out with the assistance from the
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