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Facebook helps feds nab hackers behind $850 million theft

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Facebook has worked with the FBI to take down 10 hackers responsible for stealing $850 million over the last two years.

The hackers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, New Zealand, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. were responsible for “more than 11 million compromised computer systems and over $850 million in losses via the Butterfly Botnet, which steals computer users’ credit card, bank account, and other personal identifiable information,” the FBI said in a statement.

A Facebook worm also used by the hackers was able to capture more than 45,000 Facebook usernames and passwords, Reuters reported

The extensive investigation involved Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and FBI field offices in 24 different U.S. cities.

“The FBI did not elaborate on how it arrived at its $850 million theft figure, but that haul easily dwarfs the Eurograbber, which was revealed last week to have stolen about $47 million from European banking customers in the past year,” CNET reported. “The Yahos spoils also surpass the take by the Zeus botnet crime ring, which infected an estimated 13 million computers with malware to steal more than $100 million.”

On Oct. 6, an Anonymous hacker allegedly responsible for causing $5.6 million in damages to eBay-owned online payment service PayPal was convicted in London's Southwark Crown Court. Christopher Weatherhead, 22, was convicted on one count of conspiracy to impair the operation of computers. The ruling is in connection to a 10-day hack on PayPal “after the backlash against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks following their release of classified data in December 2010,” the Guardian reported.

Photo by Johan Larsson/Flickr