Feeds

MS claims credit for Rustock botnet takedown

All salute the zombie slayer

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Action taken by Microsoft and law enforcement agencies was responsible for the takedown of the infamous spam-spewing Rustock botnet, the software giant said today.

Anti-spam firms were taken by surprise by the abrupt cessation of junk mail from zombie clients in the Rustock botnet network on Wednesday afternoon. The reason for the respite, it emerged on Thursday, was a lawsuit by Microsoft that resulted in a series of coordinated raids targeting systems identified as being integral to the botnet's command and control network, as explained in a blog post by Microsoft here.

The raids involved the seizure of kit at seven US-based hosting facilities by US Marshals who teamed up with investigators in Microsoft's digital crimes unit to run the exercise, codenamed Operation b107. The operation followed similar tactics to the similarly organised takedown of the Waledac botnet last year, using a combination of legal and technical measures. The Rustock botnet takedown effort was a still more complex affair, Richard Boscovich, a senior attorney in Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit explains.

Microsoft filed suit against the anonymous operators of the Rustock botnet, based in part on the abuse of Microsoft trademarks in the bot's spam. However, Rustock's infrastructure was much more complicated than Waledac's, relying on hard-coded Internet Protocol addresses rather than domain names and peer-to-peer command and control servers to control the botnet.

To be confident that the bot could not be quickly shifted to new infrastructure, we sought and obtained a court order allowing us to work with the US Marshals Service to physically capture evidence onsite and, in some cases, take the affected servers from hosting providers for analysis.

As well as following up on the analysis work, Microsoft's most pressing priority on Rustock is to work in co-operation with national CERTs to organise the clean-up of the estimated one million zombie PCs that formed the Rustock botnet – and which remain infected.

Rustock, which specialised in sending junk mail adverts for sites that sell unlicensed pharmaceutical drugs, was responsible for sending an estimated 39 per cent of global spam in circulation last year, according to Symantec. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.