The FBI and the Metropolitan Police are hunting six Ukrainian hackers, who are alleged to have hijacked 1.9 million computers across the globe.
The botnet, which was discovered by US security firm Finjan and includes machines from hundreds of large corporation and 77 government departments around the world, was created with astonishing speed between February and March this year.
According to the Financial Times, it is the speed with which it was created that has sparked the manhunt. Although the servers that ran the botnet are no longer in operation, the hackers are still at large and could do the same again in a matter of months.
“With this many computers affected, everyone was there on the list – the US Federal government, big universities, very large public companies,” said Finjan’s CEO Yuval Ben-Itzhak.
“The speed at which they were able to infect so many people was astounding. If these people are still out there, they can start all over again very quickly.”