of the spam and malicious internet attacks that web surfers and email
users have to deal with on a daily basis come from compromised
computers of individuals who have no idea that their machines are
infected. These botnets are a major security issue for all web users
and shutting them down is a huge goal for security firms and the U.S.
government.One of the largest software companies on the
planet is working hard to combat these botnets. Microsoft has sought
legal approval to attack botnets and destroy them to limit the amount
of spam and the number of attacks that are perpetrated against
computer users. This isn't merely an altruistic endeavor on the part
of Microsoft, the vast majority of compromised computers that help
these botnets operate are running the Windows operating system and
the millions of Hotmail users get as much as 650 million spam emails
per day originating in part from botnets.Courts in the U.S.
District Court of Eastern Virginia granted Microsoft's motion to give
the software giant permanent
ownership of 276 web domains that were once used by the
Waledac cybergang to send instructions to the hundreds of thousands
of composed PCs that made up the botnet and spread spam online.
that Microsoft's dealt its first major blow in February when the
court issued a temporary restraining order taking the 276 domains
offline.The ruling to grant Microsoft ownership of all 276
domains is uncommon according to Microsoft's senior attorney Richard
Boscovich, because the owner of the domains could not be reached to
mount a courtroom defense. According to Microsoft, the Waledac botnet
was at its peak in 2009 sending out as much as 1.5 billion spam
messages daily. The botnet was so prolific that Microsoft added
repair and removal tools for the Waledac software to its free
malicious software removal tool.Microsoft also stated that
after the command center for the botnet was taken out, it recorded
tens of thousands of infected PCs that tried to reach the command
center for instruction. Over a single 7-day period, Microsoft counted
58,000 PCs attempting 14.6 million connections to the 276 Waledac
domains that it owns.
isn't alone in its fight against botnets, the FBI
caught a botnet kingpin in July that was part of the
botnet responsible for the mariposa virus.Boscovich said,
"It's open season on botnets. The hunting licenses have been
handed out, and we're coming back for more."
quote: I'm not saying that MS would abuse it, but it's still a HUGE risk that I'm sure their competitors aren't comfortable with (many botnet PCs are part of corporate networks).