Microsoft Readying Real Time Hosted Threat Intelligence Feed

New York City – Microsoft has proven that it can take down huge, global botnets like Kelihos, Rustock and Waldec. Now the company is ready to start making the data it acquires in those busts available to governments, law enforcement and customers as a real time threat intelligence feed.

Harnig Botnet Returns, But Without Rustock

The takedown of the Rustock botnet earlier this year has had ripple effects throughout the malware and spam ecosystems, with some large reductions in spam levels and attacks. However, some of the components of the malware machine driven by Rustock are beginning to come back online now. Researchers say that the Harnig pay-per-install malware is making a comeback, sans Rustock, however.

Microsoft is now offering a $250,000 reward to help track down the people behind the notorious Rustock botnet. The company, which helped take down the botnet several months ago, said that it already has some good information on the crew behind the network and is now looking for information to bring the investigation to a close.

In March, Microsoft announced that its Digital Crimes Unit had scored a major victory in the war against hackers with the takedown of the Rustock botnet. Since then, the company has continued to monitor the activity of the network and the machines infected with the Rustock-related malware and found that the botnet is now less than half the size that it was before the takedown.

Pavel Vrublevsky, the head of a prominent Russian payment-processing company, ChronoPay, was arrested in Russia on suspicion of hiring someone to launch a denial-of-service attack against one of his company’s main competitors. The arrest is the latest in a series of high-profile actions against people and groups around the world suspected of being involved in the global cybercrime ecosystem.

The take-down of the Rustock botnet in March gave Microsoft another head for its mantle: two in just the last year. That’s an impressive take for any private firm, and one of a string of actions against bot networks in recent years.  But security experts say that the company’s success in building a legal basis for moving against botnets is an even bigger achievement.

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