Media Coverage

Shadowserver in the news

FBI Talks Avalanche Botnet Takedown

Dark Reading, July 26, 2017

BLACK HAT USA – Las Vegas – Tom Grasso, unit chief of the FBI’s cyber division, took the Black Hat stage to discuss the processes and partnerships leading up to the massive Avalanche takedown in December 2016.

CERT Australia takes over ACMA cyber security program

Computer World, July 3, 2017

Responsibility for the Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI) has shifted been from the Australian Communications and Media Authority to CERT Australia from 1 July. Responsibility for the Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI) has shifted been from the Australian Communications and Media Authority to CERT Australia from 1 July. The data is drawn from a range of sources, including Microsoft, the Spamhaus Project and the Shadowserver Foundation.

74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

The Register, May 13, 2017

Special report The WannaCrypt ransomware worm, aka WanaCrypt, WannaCry or Wcry, today exploded across 74 countries, infecting hospitals, businesses including Fedex, rail stations, universities, at least one national telco, and more organizations. “IP addresses from our sinkhole have been sent to FBI and ShadowServer so affected organisations should get a notification soon,”

Police around the world learn to fight global-scale cybercrime

The Conversation, April 26, 2017

From 2009 to 2016, a cybercrime network called Avalanche grew into one of the world’s most sophisticated criminal syndicates. It resembled an international conglomerate, staffed by corporate executives, advertising salespeople and customer service representatives. Our study of Avalanche, and of the groundbreaking law enforcement effort that ultimately took it down in December 2016, gives us a look at how the cybercriminal underground will operate in the future, and how police around the world must cooperate to fight back.

Kelihos Botnet Had Around 60K Bots When It Was Taken Down (Fourth Time's a Charm)

Bleeping Computer, April 12, 2017

The Kelihos botnet is no more. Or at least that’s what authorities hope happens, after attempting to bring it down three times in the past, but to no avail. This time around, the takedown attempt has more chances of succeeding because authorities arrested Kelihos’ main maintainer, a Russian national known as Pyotr Levashov, or Peter Severa. This time around, US authorities, with help from the Shadowserver Foundation and CrowdStrike, hope this fourth takedown attempt works better.

How the FBI Took Down Russia's Spam King—And His Massive Botnet

Wired Magazine, April 11, 2017

As part of the operation, security researchers and the FBI teamed up to dismantle the Kelihos botnet itself, targeting three domains used to run the network—,, and—and redirecting traffic from infected computers to new servers controlled by authorities and the ShadowServer Foundation, a volunteer anti-cybercrime group, a process that’s known in cybersecurity circles as “sink-holing.”

MongoDB ransom attacks soar, body count hits 27,000 in hours

The Register, January 9, 2017

MongoDB databases are being decimated in soaring ransomware attacks that have seen the number of compromised systems more than double to 27,000 in a day. Criminals are accessing, copying and deleting data from unpatched or badly-configured databases. In the Antipodes, the Australian Communications and Media Authority has been reporting exposed MongoDB installations since July 2015 using intelligence provided by the ShadowServer nonprofit.

It took 4 years to take down 'Avalanche', a huge online crime ring

Wired, December 2, 2016

ON THURSDAY, A group of international law enforcement agencies announced that it had completed an ambitious takedown of an extensive online criminal infrastructure called “Avalanche.” It’s one of the largest botnet takedowns ever, a four-year effort that turned up victims in 180 countries worldwide. Which is to say, nearly all of them. The scale of Avalanche is overwhelming, as was that of the effort to unwind it.

Audacious Android scam hacks a million Google accounts to boost app ratings

CSO Online, December 1, 2016

A new Android scam is hacking Google accounts just to help apps get discovered in Google Play’s crowded marketplace of two million apps. Google is working with ISPs, security firms and handset makers to fight Android malware, dubbed Gooligan, that has compromised a million Google Accounts to boost ratings on select apps in Google Play.

Legal raids in five countries seize botnet servers, sinkhole 800,000+ domains

Ars Technica, December 1, 2016

A botnet that has served up phishing attacks and at least 17 different malware families to victims for much of this decade has been taken down in a coordinated effort by an international group of law enforcement agencies and security firms. Law enforcement officials seized command and control servers and took control of more than 800,000 Internet domains used by the botnet, dubbed “Avalanche,” which has been in operation in some form since at least late 2009. The Shadowserver Foundation, a non-profit organization of security professionals that assisted in what the organization described in a post on the takedown as an 18-month collaboration with law enforcement, described Avalanche as a “Double Fast Flux” botnet.