(The Hosting News) – One of the biggest online threats in today’s Internet landscape involves malware, a risk that compromises and steals vital information from users’ computer systems. However, one of the most infamous forms of malware recently took a big hit, and it’s all thanks to a top software company.
Microsoft announced on Sunday that it had successfully stifled a large portion of the Zeus Botnet’s operation by seizing key servers in the U.S. states of Illinois and Pennsylvania. The operation was carried out by the company in coordination with other groups including the Electronic Payments Association.
Discussing the matter on the Official Microsoft Blog, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit Senior Attorney Richard Boscovish referred to the operation as the company’s “most complex effort to disrupt botnets to date.”
Approval for the server seizers was granted by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Despite successful retrieval of the hardware, the web hosting companies involved were not listed in Microsoft’s release regarding the matter.
“Valuable evidence and intelligence gained in the operation will be used both to help rescue peoples’ computers from the control of Zeus, as well as in an ongoing effort to undermine the cybercriminal organization and help identify those responsible,” stated Boscovish in the blog post.
Zeus malware has been notorious for relying on keylogging which works by secretly recording a computer user’s keystrokes, thus stealing sensitive data such as financial information.
While Microsoft’s takedown of Zeus servers represents a significant blow to malware operators, the company was quick to point out that other Zeus botnets remained active. Microsoft has participated in similar botnet takedowns in the past – specifically pertaining to malware including Rustock, Kelihos and Waledac.
In April of 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice revealed that it had taken down the Coreflood Botnet, a large form of malware that allegedly infected millions of computers. For more information regarding Microsoft’s operation against Zeus, view a blog post by the company here (blogs.technet.com).