Disrupting the Glupteba operation

This past year, TAG has been collaborating with Google’s CyberCrime Investigation Group to disrupt Glupteba activity involving Google services. We’ve terminated around 63M Google Docs observed to have distributed Glupteba, 1,183 Google Accounts, 908 Cloud Projects, and 870 Google Ads accounts associated with their distribution. Furthermore, 3.5M users were warned before downloading a malicious file through Google Safe Browsing warnings.

In the last few days, our team partnered with Internet infrastructure providers and hosting providers, including CloudFlare, to disrupt Glupteba’s operation by taking down servers and placing warning interstitial pages in front of the malicious domain names. During this time, an additional 130 Google accounts associated with this operation were terminated.

Parallel to the analysis, tracking, and technical disruption of this botnet, Google has filed a lawsuit against two individuals believed to be located in Russia for operating the Glupteba Botnet and its various criminal schemes. Google is alleging violations under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Lanham Act, and tortious interference of business relationships, and unjust enrichment.

While these actions may not completely stop Glupteba, TAG estimates that combined efforts will materially affect the actor’s ability to conduct future operations.

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