Last year, Operation b49 announced a large win by taking down the botnet Waledec. This year, the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) got more confident by taking down the Rustock botnet in a major operation b107.
The botnet has been involved in fake email activity amounting to billions per day. The emails included lottery scams and dangerous prescription drugs. All these activities were controlled with a million computers under the control of this botnet.
The technet blog announcing this takedown has written,
This operation, known as Operation b107, is the second high-profile takedown in Microsoft’s joint effort between DCU, Microsoft Malware Protection Center and Trustworthy Computing known as Project MARS (Microsoft Active Response for Security) to disrupt botnets and begin to undo the damage the botnets have caused by helping victims regain control of their infected computers.
Rustock was one of the largest operational botnets with a capacity of sending 30-billion spam emails every day. A single Rustock infected computer sends out nearly 8000 emails in an hour and the emails being related to pharmaceutical drugs, the botnet poses a serious risk to the healthcare industry.
The operations of a botnet are focused, though not limited to a single task. It can be modified to perform an array of activities ranging from password thefts to launching DDoS attacks.
All our readers are advised to stay alert on botnets, use good firewalls in conjuncture with antivirus software and keep track of the network activity of their computers.