A joint effort by law enforcement forces of the United States, Germany and Belarus has resulted in the arrest of of the most influential cybercriminals in the world. While official law enforcement sources have not released the name of the criminal arrested, it is being reported that it is Sergei Yarets, a man widely credited with creating the Andromeda network of botnet computers through which various types of malware would be sent to unwary victims often through malware infected links in emails. The Andromeda botnet includes millions of computers of people who have no idea that their computers were infected or being used to distribute malware.
An interesting aspect to this story is the business plan that Yarets is alleged to have used which was to lease on the dark web the use of his network of botnet computers along with leasing various other forms of malware as well as provide technical assistance and software updates to less sophisticated cybercriminals paying for his services.
It is not often readily apparent if your computer has been infected and made part of a botnet, but some of the signs include if your computer crashes frequently or your browser closes frequently while you are using it/ Also, if your computer takes a particularly long time to start or shut down, this may be an indication that a program is running without your being aware of it.
Some things you should be doing to prevent your computer from becoming infected and becoming a part of a botnet include, never clicking on links in emails unless you have confirmed that they are legitimate (something you always should be doing), using security software and keeping it updated with the latest security updates and making sure your firewall is set for the maximum security level.