Feds Attack Spam Internet Sources

Like Eliot Ness and Jim Mobile busting bootleggers, Microsoft and federal law enforcement agents have seized computer equipment from Web hosting facilities across the U.S. in what The Wall Street Journal calls "a sweeping legal attack designed to cripple the leading source of junk email on the Internet." The raids are part of a civil lawsuit filed in federal court in Seattle in early February against unnamed operators of the Rustock "botnet," which is apparently a vast network of computers around the globe infected with malicious software, which let its creators distribute enormous volumes of spam.

"Shutting down Rustock could put a huge dent in spam worldwide," reports CNet. Indeed, tech security giant Symantec estimated last year that Rustock was responsible for 39% of the world's spam. "The shutdown is one of the rare victories against cybercriminals who use botnets, or herds of compromised computers, to wreak havoc on the internet," writes VentureBeat. "It shows that technology can be used to perpetrate cyber crime as well as to hunt down cyber criminals."

As WSJ explains, Microsoft has taken an aggressive stance on "Internet nuisances" like spam, which it believes inflict harm on its product and reputation. Along with U.S. marshals, Microsoft's digital crimes unit raided Web hosting facilities from Kansas City, Mo. to Seattle, Wa.

Alas, "At the moment, it's safest to say Rustock has been made inactive, rather than having been taken down," according to DigitalTrends.com. "The estimated million infected zombie computers are still out there, and if Rustock's creators are wily they might be able to regain control over some portion of them."

Read the whole story at The Wall Street Journal »
Tags: spam
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1 comment about "Feds Attack Spam Internet Sources".
  1. David Thurman from Aussie Rescue of Illinois , March 21, 2011 at 9:54 a.m.

    How appropriate to discuss spam and we get a great example from lin Jian Ewrr...