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Symantec, Microsoft Take Down Hijacking Bamital Botnet

By - Source: Microsoft | B 7 comments

Another botnet bites the dust thanks to Microsoft, Symantec and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Microsoft said on Thursday that its Digital Crimes Unit teamed up with security firm Symantec to take down the Bamital botnet that hijacks online searches.

The assault on the offending network began on January 31 as a Symantec-backed lawsuit against the botnet's operators. Both parties wanted to sever the operators' communication with infected PCs. Naturally the court granted their request.

Then on February 6, with a subpoena in hand, the U.S. Marshals Service assisted Microsoft in seizing "valuable data and evidence" from web-hosting facilities located in Virginia and New Jersey that played host to the botnet. This takedown, known as Operation b58, was the sixth botnet disruption operation in three years by Microsoft as part of its Project MARS (Microsoft Active Response for Security) program. It was also the second time Symantec was involved.

"Taking down the Bamital botnet is the first step in protecting people," Microsoft said. "It’s important to note that while the cybercriminals in this case used the Bamital malware to break victims’ search experience, it was done in such a sneaky way that most victims wouldn’t have even noticed a problem while the botnet was still operating."

Now that the botnet is down, infected users will likely start to discover that their search functions are broken. Microsoft said owners of infected computers trying to complete a search query will now be directed to an official Microsoft and Symantec webpage that explains the problem and how to remove the Bamital infection.

"While the Bamital botnet defrauded the entire online advertising platform, which is what allows the Internet and many online services to be free, what’s most concerning is that these cybercriminals made people go to sites that they never intended to go and took control of the computer away from its owner," Microsoft said.

To read the full report, head here. However don't expect a detailed accounting of what happened in the botnet bust – you'll best find that kind of action on TV instead.

 

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    trumpeter1994 , February 7, 2013 10:54 PM
    Well good job Microsoft and Symantic
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    trumpeter1994 , February 7, 2013 10:54 PM
    Well good job Microsoft and Symantic
  • 1 Hide
    boju , February 7, 2013 11:03 PM
    Another one bots the dust
    Another one bots the dust
    And another one gone, and another one gone
    Another one bots the dust
    Hey, I'm gonna get you too
    Another one bots the dust
  • 0 Hide
    A Bad Day , February 7, 2013 11:21 PM
    And another bot rises to fill the vacuum...

    (Nothing wrong with taking down bot nets though. Gotta keep reminding the operators to stay on their toes)
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , February 8, 2013 1:32 AM

    Sadly the bot net is all M$ Operating systems.
    So M$ obviously have an interest in trying to remove this problem.
    I can see why more people move to Unix computers, eg: mac, ubuntu android, red hat..etc
  • 4 Hide
    A Bad Day , February 8, 2013 1:53 AM
    jump123jumpSadly the bot net is all M$ Operating systems.So M$ obviously have an interest in trying to remove this problem.I can see why more people move to Unix computers, eg: mac, ubuntu android, red hat..etc


    Because the other OSes have MUCH smaller market-share in laptops and desktops. Why spend 24 hours programming for an attack on 5% of the computers when the 24 hours could be used on 95% of the computers.

    Big attracts big attention.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , February 8, 2013 3:21 AM
    Sorry but Unix is by far the biggest operating system in the world.
    it is in virtually every device you use.
    M$ windows I estimate be lucky to only cover 1% of what is out there. (somebody please produce the numbers). eg: modems, white-goods, alarms, phones, computers, cars, toys..etc
    It is in the air you breath, it is in the garbage you help the landlord take out, it is in your taxes.
  • 2 Hide
    Camikazi , February 8, 2013 8:58 AM
    jump23451jumpSorry but Unix is by far the biggest operating system in the world.it is in virtually every device you use.M$ windows I estimate be lucky to only cover 1% of what is out there. (somebody please produce the numbers). eg: modems, white-goods, alarms, phones, computers, cars, toys..etcIt is in the air you breath, it is in the garbage you help the landlord take out, it is in your taxes.

    Botnets are run from ordinary desktop and laptops because average consumers (and I mean all, even you Linux and Mac users) are rather ignorant and more likely to fall to them. When it comes to desktop and Laptop OS then Linux and Mac are not in the running Windows owns it completely and that is why Botnets target them. Yea, Linux might be used in microwaves, and alarms, and refrigerators but most of those aren't connected to the net and can't be reprogrammed to begin with so are worthless and shouldn't even be brought into this discussion.
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