Feeds

Chinese Nitol botnet host back up after Microsoft settles lawsuit

Owner agrees to chuck nasties down the sinkhole

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.