US authorities have taken unprecidented action in shutting down a massive network of compromised PCs used by cyber criminals.
The 'Coreflood' botnet is one of the very oldest and has been in operation for nearly a decade and has infected more than 2 million PCs, the Justice Department and FBI said in a joint statement.
After winning court approval, the FBI took action against 29 internet domains and five computer servers which served as command and control for the botnet. The FBI said the action was the most "comprehensive enforcement action ever taken by US authorities to disable an international botnet".
Having taking over the domains and the computers, the FBI intercepted the requests from infected computers, telling them to shut down. Coreflood periodically 'phones home' to upload stolen information such as passwords and financial details.
US law enforcement charged 13 suspects with various charges including fraud and illegal interception of communications. All were described as foreign nationals.