One of World’s Largest Botnets Taken Down by Microsoft

In a blog post late last night, Microsoft and their security team claim to have finally defeated one of the world’s largest botnets, dealing a critical blow to its infrastructure and removing the threat almost entirely in one fell swoop.

The ominously named “ZeroAccess” would install itself on user’s computers with standard malware techniques, implanting itself in emails, P2P downloads, and phishing websites to access its victims machines.

Infecting nearly two million machines worldwide, the botnet relied on waves of communication from others computer, rather than depending on a set of centralized servers like most programs of its kind. That lack of response to any single discernable location is what made this piece of spyware particularly sneaky, and the primary attribute which allowed it to amass as many computers as it had and survive as long as it did.

“Due to its botnet architecture, ZeroAccess is one of the most robust and durable botnets in operation today and was built to be resilient to disruption efforts,” Microsoft said.

However, the firm said its latest action is “expected to significantly disrupt the botnet’s operation, increasing the cost and risk for cyber criminals to continue doing business and preventing victims’ computers from committing fraudulent schemes”.

As well as eliminating the lines of communications between machines, Microsoft was also able to gain control of 49 domains that were associated with the ZeroAccess network.

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