28 Sep 2011

Microsoft busts network of virus sending computers

Microsoft has put the end to another botnet and is accusing a Czech resident of hosting the network and using it to deliver spam and steal data, according to the company. People should have a level of internet security to defend against botnets that plague the internet.

Kelihos, also known as "Waledac 2.0" after a previous botnet Microsoft shut down last year, was made up of about 41,000 infected computers worldwide capable of sending 3.8 billion spam emails per day, according to the company. Microsoft is using a relatively new tactic of filing restraining orders to get court permission to sever the connections between the botnets and the individual infected computers, known as "zombies." The company hopes this step will stop the botnet networks from continuing to grow and operate.

A complaint filed in the U.S. District court for the Eastern District of Virginia accuses Dominque Alexander Piatti, Dotfree Group SRO and John Does 1 through 22 of infecting victims computers and creating the network.

"Without a domain infrastructure like the one allegedly hosted by Mr. Piatti and his company, botnet operators and other purveyors of scams and malware would find it much harder to operate anonymously and out of sight, according to Richard Domingues Boscovich, senior attorney with the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit in a blog post. "By taking down the botnet infrastructure, we hope that this will help deter and raise the cost of committing cybercrime."