MARCH 26 2012 22:25h
Microsoft takes lead in botnet war
Microsoft's digital crimes unit secured a warrant from a federal judge to gather evidence and deactivate servers at locations in Pennsylvania and Illinois, VentureBeat reported Monday.
Former federal prosecutor Richard Boscovich, now a senior attorney in the digital crimes unit, brought a civil suit against the alleged botnet rings arguing criminals violated Microsoft's trademark by impersonating the company in e-mails they used to infect unsuspecting users' computers with their virus programs.
"Taking the disruption into the courthouse was a brilliant idea and is helping the rest of the industry to reconsider what actions are possible, and that action is needed and can succeed," Richard Perlotto, director of the Shadowserver Foundation, told The New York Times.
The Microsoft-initiated raids by U.S. marshals Friday targeted the Zeus botnet, which its creators allegedly provide to criminal gangs who pay $700 to $15,000 to use it, depending on the level of customization provided.
In its complaint, Microsoft said the Zeus botnets were responsible for the theft of more than $100 million from victims since 2007 and had infected around 13 million computers.
REDMOND, Wash., March 26 (UPI) -- Microsoft initiated raids on two U.S. locations suspected of running criminal botnet servers infecting computers and stealing personal data, officials say.