FBI Cyber Unit arrests Zotob, Mytob Windows worm makers in Turkey and Morrocco

“Two men have been arrested by local authorities in Turkey and Morocco, and charged with creating and distributing the Zotob and Mytob worms, as well as Rbot bot worm, the FBI announced Friday in a conference call with news media. Farid Essebar, 18, a Moroccan national born in Russia and known by the moniker ‘Diabl0,’ was arrested by Moroccan authorities, while Atilla Ekici, aka ‘Coder,’ a 21-year old resident of Turkey, was grabbed by Turkish police,” Gregg Keizer reports for TechWeb News.

“The two are believed to be behind the Zotob attacks that began last week, quickly infected thousands of machines worldwide, and brought down some corporate and media networks running vulnerable Windows 2000 PCs. They are also suspected of being behind Mytob, which harks back to February 2005, and Rbot, an IRC-controlled bot which debuted in August 2004,” Keizer reports. “The FBI’s investigation doesn’t go back that far, but it did begin long before the Zotob outbreak, said Louis Reigel, the assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division. ‘We started our initial investigation [of Mytob] in late March, but it became very aggressive in the last two weeks,’ Reigel said. ‘The arrests were made from a trail that came to light in the last two weeks [since Zotob],’ confirmed Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, who also participated in the call.”

Keizer reports that Smith “also defended his company, which is frequently lambasted for its many security problems, by claiming, as have other officials, that the root cause for the attack isn’t necessarily Microsoft’s fault, but is due to the overwhelming popularity of its products. ‘We have very popular products, and so we’re put under this kind of pressure,’ said Smith. ‘But security remains our highest priority.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Alternate headline: “Microsoft lackey states ‘security remains our highest priority’ – idiots lap it up.” If you believe Microsoft’s highest priority is “security,” you’ve undergone a lobotomy. Sorry to remind you, you probably forgot. It’s okay, you’ll forget it again right about… now. Enjoy Windows Vista when and if, ‘kay? The rest of us, the ones with newly blown up bullshit detectors, know that Microsoft’s highest priority is “money.”

Microsoft’s security problems aren’t due to popularity, they’re due to insufficiently designed security safeguards in their operating system. In other words, Microsoft Windows’ security, among other things, sucks.

A cynic might wonder how quickly Usama Bin Laden would’ve been captured had he threatened Microsoft’s pursuit of the almighty dollar (after all, Bin Laden has been on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive’s List for years). Other, more positive people, probably wouldn’t have niggling thoughts like that popping into their heads. So, congrats to the FBI for nabbing these two nefarious hackers! A job well done.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Windows worm halts production at 13 DaimlerChrysler U.S. plants – August 26, 2005
Zotob Windows worm knocks out North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles – August 24, 2005
How to avoid viruses and malware? Dump your Windows PC and get an Apple Macintosh – August 22, 2005
ZDNet: How many Mac OS X users affected by the last 100 viruses? None, zero, not one, not ever – August 18, 2005
Quickly spreading Microsoft Windows worm affects CNN, ABC, NY Times; Apple Macintosh unaffected – August 16, 2005
‘Zotob’ worm rapidly infects Microsoft Windows; Macintosh unaffected – August 15, 2005
SecurityFocus: ‘Your Windows computer is not to be trusted; buy a Mac and slip under the radar’ – July 06, 2005


  1. Zotob, Mytob, Hertob, Yourtob — let’s call the whole thing off!

    Seriously, that’s what we should do — call off this horrible, overlong, god-awwful, costly experiment known as “Windows from Microsoft.”

    It’s too bad that no one anywhere has the stones to sue those bastards in Redmond. Inflicting such crap on the American (and world) public for such an incredibly long time. I swear — the amount of progress that’s been lost worldwide as a result of the increased support costs, increased downtime, lost man-hours, etc., from Windows will probably end up rivaling the great loss of the knowledge from the burning of the library of Alexandria when we look back on it and can assess it accurately. ‘Course, scientists estimate that travesty only set us back about a thousand years as a civilization, so . . . this MS shit could end up being small potatoes comparatively-speaking.

    Maybe the ACLU should be called in to bring suit against Microsoft. They’re more than happy to defend everybody else.

  2. “Click the link. How does the FBI spell it?”
    I noticed that. How come the media still gets it wrong? It baffles me.

    “Maybe that’s why they can’t find him – wrong name.”
    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

  3. …root cause for the attack isn’t necessarily Microsoft’s fault, but is due to the overwhelming popularity of its products.

    GM makes popular vehicles, but nobody goes around parking lots putting car bombs in Chevy Suburbans…

    Face it, the worm writers are targeting you BECAUSE THEY CAN!!! You leave huge holes in an operating system that hasn’t been materially improved in the last 15 years, and it’s NOT YOUR FAULT??!!

    Someone get Mark Lanier on the phone…

  4. Oh really The MacDaddy-Oh!, then the three crusades were just the pope popping over to jerusalem for a spot of tea? No, the pope used religion as a cover for conquest, and the normal citizens of europe went along with it. What the pope really didn’t care about was that the average european soldier was under-paid, under-sexed, and quite unfriendly. So they LITERALLY raped and pillaged the jerusalem and it’s surrounding provinces. The three crusades did more damage to the area’s history and culture than has ever been done.

    I AM NOT DEFENDING TERRORIST ACTIONS (just wanted to clear that up) I despise all preemptive strikes, the war in Afghanistan was justified, the war in Iraq was not.

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