Friday, February 26, 2010

Microsoft, Domains, Zombie Computers, and Spam

"Microsoft shuts down global spam network"
BBC (February 25, 2010)

"Microsoft has won court approval to shut down a global network of computers which it says is responsible for more than 1.5bn spam messages every day.

"A US judge granted the firm's request to shut down 277 internet domains, which it said were used to 'command and control' the so-called Waledac botnet...."

"...Microsoft said that although it had effectively shut down the network, thousands of computers would still be infected with malware and advised people to run anti-virus software.

"The court order was part of what was called 'Operation b49'.

"Along with intelligence organisation Shadowserver, the University of Washington and security firm Symantec, Microsoft managed to get a court in Alexandria, Virginia, to force Verisign, which manages the .com domain, to temporarily switch off the domains.

"Microsoft said it was the result of months of investigation and described it as a legal first...."

I suppose it's still fashionable, in some circles to hate Microsoft.

Still, I don't think many people will be too disappointed if they start getting a little less spam.

I think that, eventually, we'll have a legal system - or network of legal systems - around the world with the ability and willingness to identify and control the sort of activity that fills our inboxes with spam, infects our computers with malware, and keeps us busy dealing with these unnecessary problems - instead of getting something else done.

And, when we've got something like that - I'm sure there will be problems with the system. It'll be run by human beings - and we're not perfect.

Until there's something like the Internet Patrol, though: on the whole, I'm glad Microsoft is there.

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