Microsoft Recruits Help to Tackle ZeroAccess Botnet

By Rory Lidstone December 06, 2013

Most people only know Microsoft for its software, with Windows and Office being the most well known. But did you know the company is also pretty involved in combating cyber crime? Earlier this year, for example, Microsoft partnered with the FBI to tackle the Citadel botnet after it was used to steal upwards of half a billion dollars over the prior 18 months. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center does its part by warning of ways cyber criminals ay attempt to attack businesses and individuals.

Now it seems the company is at it again, this time tackling the botnet behind a recent hacking effort that compromised tow million social network users and cost online advertisers more than $2.7 million per month. By once again partnering with the FBI, as well as A10 Networks and Europol’s Cybercrime Center (EC3), Microsoft managed to stop the botnet, known as ZeroAccess, from doing further damage.

In fact, Microsoft is no working on a preliminary court injunction to direct U.S. ISPs, as well as other groups that control IP addresses, to shut down the botnet’s network. The suit, which was filed in a Texas district court, also acts these groups to preserve any material or content associated with the botnet to help Microsoft’s fight.

Put simply, ZeroAccess affects search engines through the hijacking of a person’s computer. It then redirects that person’s search results, leading them to sites which install malware on the target computer. This allows the cyber criminals behind the botnet to access personal information, while allowing them to commit fraud by charging businesses for advertising clicks.

As of now, ZeroAccess has not been completely disabled, which is why Microsoft has recruited extra help and filed the Texas court injunction. The hope is that the combined technical and legal actions of all involved parties will disable the botnet entirely.




Edited by Stefania Viscusi

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

How Do the Year's Threat Predictions Match Reality?

By: Special Guest    8/24/2016

Last year, Fortinet's FortiGuard Labs global threat research team made a series of predictions about cyber threats in 2016. We are now halfway through…

Read More

Automakers Invest in Wearable Tech Pilot Programs

By: Lindsey Patterson    8/24/2016

The advent of wearable technology has recently generated a number of creative products. Consumers check for email messages using "smart" watches and i…

Read More

AI's Major Role in EU's New Data Privacy Regulations

By: Special Guest    8/23/2016

Earlier this year, the European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation - landmark legislation addressing data protection and privacy conc…

Read More

Broadband Delivered by Fiber Proves Better than Alternatives

By: Doug Mohney    8/23/2016

We're a couple years out on an unprecedented boom in broadband, with new wireless schemes, 5G, high-flying drones and constellations of satellites cov…

Read More

BYOD Could Mean Bring Your Own Disaster

By: Special Guest    8/22/2016

As adoption of wearables becomes more mainstream in the Middle East, it brings added complexity to BYOD in an enterprise. One of the more interesting …

Read More