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

Related Articles

Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk Square Off on Rocket Firsts

By: Doug Mohney    11/25/2015

On Monday, November 23, Blue Origin successfully flew the first fully reusable rocket into space, giving the company first bragging rights. Founder Je…

Read More

Autonomous Car Technology Takes New Leap Forward With Ford, Uber

By: Larry Alton    11/24/2015

The age of the self-driving car is nearly upon us, or at least that's what major technology and automotive companies are hoping. There have been major…

Read More

Unusual but Fun Tech Ideas for 2015

By: Rob Enderle    11/24/2015

Well, it's the week of the big sales, and many of us are planning to buy that special someone a special something. I figured I'd join my peers and poi…

Read More

Locus Telecommunications is Challenging the FCC's Authority, Claiming Due Process Violations

By: Special Guest    11/24/2015

One of a handful of prepaid calling card companies slapped with a $5 million fine by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) for its…

Read More

Kaspersky: Three Out of Four Users Have Trouble Spotting Big Threats

By: Steve Anderson    11/23/2015

We all know that spending on cybersecurity has been on the rise lately, as everyone from major corporations to military groups ramp up their cyberdefe…

Read More