Microsoft Leads Strike Against Massive ZeroAccess Botnet

Microsoft is once again flexing its cybercrime-fighting muscles. For the third time this year, RedmondEUs Digital Crimes Unit has disrupted a dangerous botnet that has impacted millions of consumers.

Microsoft worked with EuropolEUs European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), the Federal Bureau of Investigation and technology industry leaders like A10 Networks, to take down the rampant Sirefef botnet. Also known as ZeroAccess, the botnet has infected nearly 2 million computers all over the world and cost online advertisers upwards of $2.7 million each month.

According to Microsoft, ZeroAccess targets all major search engines and browsers, including Google, Bing and Yahoo. Most of the infected machines are in the U.S. and Western Europe. Microsoft is comparing ZeroAccess to the Bamital botnet, which the company and its partners took down in February, in that it is responsible for hijacking search results and directing people to potentially dangerous Web sites that could install malware onto their computer, steal their personal information or fraudulently charge businesses for online advertisement clicks. ZeroAccess also commits click fraud.

Not Completely Dead

EUDue 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, relying on a peer-to-peer infrastructure that allows cybercriminals to remotely control the botnet from tens of thousands of different computers,EU Microsoft wrote in a blog post.

Most often, the company said, computers become infected with ZeroAccess as a result of what are known as drive-by-downloads -- cybercriminals create a Web site that downloads malware onto any unprotected computer that happens to visit that site. Microsoft said computers can also become infected through counterfeit and unlicensed software, where criminals disguise ZeroAccess as legitimate software, tricking a person into downloading the ZeroAccess malware onto their computer.

EUBecause of the sophistication of the threat, Microsoft and its partners do not...

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Microsoft Leads Strike Against Massive ZeroAccess Botnet

Microsoft is once again flexing its cybercrime-fighting muscles. For the third time this year, RedmondEUs Digital Crimes Unit has disrupted a dangerous botnet that has impacted millions of consumers.

Microsoft worked with EuropolEUs European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), the Federal Bureau of Investigation and technology industry leaders like A10 Networks, to take down the rampant Sirefef botnet. Also known as ZeroAccess, the botnet has infected nearly 2 million computers all over the world and cost online advertisers upwards of $2.7 million each month.

According to Microsoft, ZeroAccess targets all major search engines and browsers, including Google, Bing and Yahoo. Most of the infected machines are in the U.S. and Western Europe. Microsoft is comparing ZeroAccess to the Bamital botnet, which the company and its partners took down in February, in that it is responsible for hijacking search results and directing people to potentially dangerous Web sites that could install malware onto their computer, steal their personal information or fraudulently charge businesses for online advertisement clicks. ZeroAccess also commits click fraud.

Not Completely Dead

EUDue 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, relying on a peer-to-peer infrastructure that allows cybercriminals to remotely control the botnet from tens of thousands of different computers,EU Microsoft wrote in a blog post.

Most often, the company said, computers become infected with ZeroAccess as a result of what are known as drive-by-downloads -- cybercriminals create a Web site that downloads malware onto any unprotected computer that happens to visit that site. Microsoft said computers can also become infected through counterfeit and unlicensed software, where criminals disguise ZeroAccess as legitimate software, tricking a person into downloading the ZeroAccess malware onto their computer.

EUBecause of the sophistication of the threat, Microsoft and its partners do not...

Comments are closed.