The takedown of the Mariposa botnet is an example of both the possibilities and complications facing law enforcement around the world as they work to stamp out botnets. A cyberlaw enforcement success story, the take down of Mariposa by Spanish authorities in December, 2009, followed months of work analyzing the botnet, which numbered close to 13 million infected computers at its height and generated €20,000 a month in revenues. A specially formed Mariposa Working Group worked with Spain’s Guardia Civil and researchers at Georgia Tech, Intel and Neustar to shut down the command and control infrastructure used by Mariposa. Authorities in Spain and Slovenia arrested three Spanish citizens accused of being part of the crew that leased Mariposa, as well as its Slovenian creators. But prosecuting those who ran the botnet has proven difficult under Spanish law, which makes it difficult to submit data taken from the command and control servers in court against them.
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