9 Firms Raided by U.S. Marshals as Microsoft Targets Firms Promoting Malware and eMail Scams

It seems like about 90% of my customer’s PC problems are malware infections these days. Many of them ask me why do the bad guys send out these viruses. I always tell them it is about money. They respond by saying that they didn’t buy anything, but I can tell you that these bad guys are making money off you in ways you could never imagine. While some of these scams are perpetrated by individuals, some require more elaborate coordination with some very talented people, in both domestic and international locations. While the problem seems to keep growing from bad to worse, there is some very recent good news about the fight against malware.

Rustock Botnet Taken Down

In their 2nd high profile take down through a joint effort between the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU), Microsoft Malware Protection Center and Trustworthy Computing, 9 Web hosting firms around the nation were raided by U.S. Marshals last week as part of a Microsoft lawsuit targeted at eradicating sources of malicious software (malware) and e-mail fraud such as spamming networks.

Law enforcement agents, along with personnel from Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, seized computer systems they say had been used to control close to 1 million computers infected with the notorious Rustock malware. Their months-long efforts resulted in taking the Rustock botnet offline last Wed, on 16MAr2011. Other cities where firms were raided include Chicago, Kansas City, and Dallas.

An article by Richard Boscovich, a Senior Attorney with the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, said that the Rustok Botnet was capable of sending out “billions of spam mails every day, including fake Microsoft lottery scams and offers for fake – and potentially dangerous – prescription drugs”.

Botnet is a term used to describe a group of bot infected PCs that are all controlled by the same “command and control center”, effectively making your computer into a cyber zombie. Botnets can be employed to commit just about any kind of cybercrime they can think of.

Resources

To make sure your PC  is not doing some cyber-criminal’s dirty work, you can get more information at Microsoft’s Virus and Security Solution Center. You can also get more free information and resources  from Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit at their Facebook and Twitter pages below:

http://www.facebook.com/MicrosoftDCU

http://twitter.com/MicrosoftDCU

Botnet Cartoon

3 Responses to “9 Firms Raided by U.S. Marshals as Microsoft Targets Firms Promoting Malware and eMail Scams”

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