Microsoft and the Botnet Task Force have struck again, and this time against one of the United States largest spam producers. Microsoft petitioned the U.S. courts for a take down order against domains associated with the Waledac botnet.
The order, which was granted by the court, allows traffic to be restricted from 277 domains linked to compromised machines. “Waledac is estimated to have infected hundreds of thousands of computers around the world and, prior to this action, was believed to have the capacity to send over 1.5 billion spam emails per day,” said representatives from Microsoft.
Other infected machines regularly take direction from the 277 domains for instructions and spamming materials, often without the users knowledge. Microsoft estimates the Waledac botnet to be one of the ten largest botnets in the United States. Along with naming the host domains, the Microsoft lawsuit also accuses 27 unnamed defendants to be associated with the botnet. Microsoft has dubbed the takedown of the botnet as “Operation b49.”
Microsoft has a history of zero tolerance for botnets and general cyber crime. From Microsoft’s Official blog “At Microsoft, we don't accept the idea that botnets are a fact of life. We are a founding member of the Botnet Task Force, a public-private partnership to join industry and government in the fight against bots.” They later go on to insure users that as more botnets become present the company will take a hard stance against them. The goal of “Operation b49” is to make the take down permanent.
Microsoft has also issued clean up suggestions such as using Microsoft’s malicious software removal tool and safe internet practices.