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Notorious computer hacker identified and arrested, authorities say

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Computer hacker responsible for stealing passwords to financial institutions arrested, says FBI
  • Police identified and arrested a 23-year-old Slovene known as "Iserdo," officials announced Wednesday
  • "Iserdo" is suspected of creating and operating a computer scam that infected some 12 million computers
  • This computer software was one of the "most notorious in the world," said FBI Director Robert Mueller

Washington (CNN) -- A computer hacker responsible for creating and operating a massive scam that infected as many as 12 million computers worldwide has been identified and arrested, authorities said Wednesday.

The FBI said in a news statement a 23-year-old Slovene known as "Iserdo" was arrested last week for his role in a cyber scam that stole passwords from websites and financial institutions. Authorities believe the Slovenian citizen is responsible for creating and selling the Mariposa botnet.

Botnets are a network of computers infected with a malicious kind of robot software which allow remote access, often without the owner's knowledge.

Police suspect this particular botnet was built with a computer virus known as the "Butterfly Bot," the news statement said. It was designed to steal computer users' credit card and bank information, launch a denial of service attacks and spread viruses.

"In the last two years, the software used to create the Mariposa botnet was sold to hundreds of other criminals, making it one of the most notorious in the world," said FBI Director Robert Mueller. "These cyber intrusions, thefts and frauds undermine the integrity of the Internet and the businesses that rely on it; they also threaten the privacy and pocketbooks of all who use the Internet."

The significant arrest comes about five months after Spanish authorities arrested three suspected Mariposa botnet operators. These individuals are being prosecuted in Spain, the FBI said.

Where "Iserdo" is being held was not disclosed.