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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Microsoft Gets Court Nod to Cripple Spam Botnet

Microsoft has succeeded in smashing a particularly loathsome botnet, Waledac, through a new strategy that enlisted a federal court's cooperation. Although the company may have choked off as many as 1.5 billion emails distributed daily by the operation, it's highly likely that the spammers will regroup in short order.

A Federal judge granted Microsoft a temporary restraining order that cut off 277 Internet domains believed to be run by criminals as the Waledac bot. Microsoft was then able to downgrade much of the peer-to-peer communication within the botnet.

Waledac is one of the 10 largest botnets in the U.S. and a major global distributor of spam. It is estimated to have infected hundreds of thousands of computers around the world that could send over 1.5 billion spam emails per day.

The spammers will just move to another domain and continue, suggested Ben-Itzhak. "Their operation makes them tons of money, so they will continue to do what they know to do very well. We may have a short slowdown in spam, but in days it will ramp back again."

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