Smokey's Security Weblog

veritas odium parit

Microsoft botnet-hunting tool helps bust hackers

Botnet fighters have another tool in their arsenal, thanks to Microsoft Corp.

The software vendor is giving law enforcers access to a special tool that keeps tabs on botnets, using data compiled from the 450 million computer users who have installed the Malicious Software Removal Tool that ships with Windows.

Although Microsoft is reluctant to give out details on its botnet buster — the company said that even revealing its name could give cybercriminals a clue on how to thwart it — company executives discussed it at a closed-door conference held for law enforcement professionals Monday. The tool includes data and software that helps law enforcers get a better picture of the data being provided by Microsoft’s users, said Tim Cranton, associate general counsel with Microsoft’s World Wide Internet Safety Programs. “I think of it … as botnet intelligence,” he said.

Microsoft security experts analyze samples of malicious code to capture a snapshot of what is happening on the botnet network, which can then be used by law enforcers, Cranton said. “They can actually get into the software code and say, ‘Here’s information on how it’s being controlled.'”

Botnets are networks of hacked computers that can be used, almost like a supercomputer, to send spam or attack servers on the Internet. They have been on Microsoft’s radar for about four years, ever since the company identified them as a significant emerging threat. In fact, the software vendor has held seven closed-door botnet conferences for law enforcement officials over the years, including an inaugural event in Lyon, France, hosted by Interpol, Cranton said.

Microsoft had not previously talked about its botnet tool, but it turns out that police in Canada used it to make a high-profile bust earlier this year.

Source: ComputerWorld Security

Advertisements

April 30, 2008 - Posted by | Friends, Malware, News, Recommended External Security Related Links, Vulnerabilities | , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: