Microsoft will look to courts for botnet takedowns

Microsoft says its legal efforts helped reduce the prevalence of computers infected with Waledac

By , IDG News Service |  Security

The domains were shut down within 48 hours after the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted the order. Last month, the court held a hearing on entering a default judgement against the unidentified defendants and transferring control of the domains to Microsoft. The company said in its report that a permanent injunction is pending.

"We think this has effectively dealt a blow to Waledac," Hall said.

While lawyers worked on the legal side, technical experts also attacked Waledac. Microsoft marshalled a team of computer security researchers who infiltrated Waledac's peer-to-peer control system. Once inside the botnet, they commanded infected machines to report to their own servers, cutting the cybercriminals off from their own botnet.

But while Waledac was stung, it still lives. The botnet comes in at No. 23 of the 25 most-detected botnet families, according to Microsoft's report, showing that even after extensive legal and technical efforts, botnets are difficult foes.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

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