Microsoft says cybercrime bust frees 4.7 mln infected PCs

BOSTON Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:16am IST

The Microsoft logo is seen at their offices in Bucharest March 20, 2013.  REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel/Files

The Microsoft logo is seen at their offices in Bucharest March 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Bogdan Cristel/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

BOSTON (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said it has freed at least 4.7 million infected personal computers from control of cyber crooks in its most successful digital crime-busting operation, which interrupted service at an Internet-services firm last week.

The world's largest software maker has also identified at least another 4.7 million infected machines, though many are likely still controlled by cyber fraudsters, Microsoft's cybercrime-fighting Digital Crimes Unit said on Thursday.

India, followed by Pakistan, Egypt, Brazil, Algeria and Mexico have the largest number of infected machines, in the first high-profile case involving malware developed outside Eastern Europe.

Richard Domingues Boscovich, assistant general counsel of the unit, said Microsoft would quickly provide government authorities and Internet service providers around the world with the IP addresses of infected machines so they can help users remove the viruses.

"Those victims are currently not aware they are infected," Boscovich said in an interview.

The operation is the most successful of the 10 launched to date by Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit, based on the number of infected machines identified, Boscovich said.

Microsoft located the compromised PCs by intercepting traffic headed to servers at Reno, Nevada-based Vitalwerks Internet Solutions, which the software maker said criminals used to communicate with compromised PCs through free accounts on its No-IP.com services.

Vitalwerks criticized the way Microsoft handled the operation, saying some 1.8 million of its users lost service for several days. The Internet services firm said that it would have been glad to help Microsoft, without interrupting service to legitimate users.

Microsoft has apologized, blaming "a technical error" for the disruption, saying service to customers has been restored.

The operation, which began on June 30 under a federal court order, targeted malicious software known as Bladabindi and Jenxcus, which Microsoft said work in similar ways and were written and distributed by developers in Kuwait and Algeria.

(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Richard Chang)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Tech Buzz

TECH SHOWCASE

New Launch

New Launch

China's Xiaomi announces latest flagship Mi 4 smartphone.  Full Article 

Black Hat Conference

Black Hat Conference

Talk on cracking Internet anonymity service Tor canceled.  Full Article 

Data Protection

Data Protection

Italy gives Google 18 months to change data use practices.  Full Article 

Nano-Printing

Nano-Printing

Monet masterpiece shrunk down to the size of dust mite.  Video 

Management Changes

Management Changes

BlackBerry names ex-Sybase executive as chief operating officer.  Full Article 

Mobile Ad Business

Mobile Ad Business

Yahoo to buy analytics startup Flurry to bolster mobile ad business  Full Article 

Shoplifting Arrest

Shoplifting Arrest

Facebook 'selfie' leads to shoplifting arrest in Illinois - police  Full Article 

Fighting Surveillance

Fighting Surveillance

Snowden seeks to develop anti-surveillance technologies.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage