One of the tactics that Microsoft has been utilizing over the last few years in its fight against malware botnets is by filing lawsuits against botnet providers; and it has proven to be quite successful as evidenced with the latest takedown announced today.
Working with Symantec the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit has been tracking a Bamital botnet network which they say is responsible for attacking, and infecting, up to eight million computers. The botnet worked by hijacking peoples search experiences and redirecting them to sites that served up all kinds of malware.
It is estimated that the the network raked in at least $1 million per year of operation and was run by two companies. Due to the volume of the attacks it was decided to take action, as stated by Assistant General Counsel of the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit Richard Domigues Boscovich
Because this threat exploited the search and online advertising platform to harm innocent people, Microsoft and Symantec chose to take action against the Bamital botnet to help protect people and advance cloud security for everyone,
On January 31st Microsoft filed its lawsuit, supported by Symantec, against the botnet operators in order to cut off the communication lines between the botnet and malware-infected computers.
Now owners of infected machines are being directed to an official Microsoft and Symantec site that explains the problem as well as the steps to clean an infected machine.
This of course highlights one of the more depressing parts of living in an Internet world and how services like online advertising can be used to exploit your devices and open you up to all kinds of attacks.
One of the things we are starting to see more of is security services via the cloud mainly because of security software being able to respond quicker than waiting for users to download updates (most of which rarely happens).
The fact that companies like Microsoft and Symantec are catching on to cloud security and using their influence to advance its reach are evidence that it should be a serious consideration for any business, as it can save everyone some time and money in the long run.