Feeds

Chinese Nitol botnet host back up after Microsoft settles lawsuit

Owner agrees to chuck nasties down the sinkhole

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft has reached a settlement with the Chinese site linked to the Nitol DDoS botnet.

The emerging Nitol botnet was hosted by the 3322.org domain. In order to stem the threat, Microsoft filed a suit to take control of the 70,000 malicious subdomains hosted on 3322.org, gaining control of the domain in mid September.

Redmond uncovered the scam during an investigation (PDF) into insecure supply chains. It seems that corrupt (but unnamed) computer resellers in China were planting malware on victims' machines as a means to make extra money from pay-per-install malware affiliate programs and similar scams.

The 3322.org played host to a multitude of backdoors, Trojans and other strains of malware as well as Nitol prior to the Redmond-initiated enforcement action.

The operator of 3322.org, Peng Yong, recently agreed to work in cooperation with Microsoft and the Chinese Computer Emergency Response Team (CN-CERT) to fight cybercrime. Based on this settlement agreement, Redmond allowed the 3322.org domain to resume operations, on condition that that any sub-domains linked to malware are placed on a "block-list" and redirected to a sink-hole managed by Microsoft. 3322.org also agreed to help identify computer users in China left infected by the earlier spread of the Nitol botnet and other malware strains tied to 3322.org.

"We’re very pleased by this outcome, which will help guarantee that the 70,000 malicious subdomains associated with 3322.org will never again be used for cybercrime," Richard Domingues Boscovich, assistant general counsel at Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit, writes in a blog post announcing the settlement.

In the 16 days since we began collecting data on the 70,000 malicious subdomains, we have been able to block more than 609 million connections from over 7,650,000 unique IP addresses to those malicious 3322.org subdomains. In addition to blocking connections to the malicious domains, we have continued to provide DNS services for the unblocked 3322.org subdomains. For example, on Sept 25, we successfully processed 34,954,795 DNS requests for 3322.org subdomains that were not on our block list.

Microsoft has passed on its data of infected IP addresses to the Shadow Server Foundation, which is working with Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and ISPs across the world to clean-up the remnants of the Nitol botnet.

Operation b70 – against the Nitol botnet and other strains of malware previously distributed via the 3322.org domain – was Microsoft’s fifth disruptive action against malware as part of Redmond's ongoing Project MARS (Microsoft Active Response for Security) initiative. Previous botnet takedown operations by Redmond have targeted the Waledac, Rustock, Kelihos and Zeus botnets over the last two-and-a-half years. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.