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Microsoft downs botnet that infiltrated Chinese PC supply chain

Antone Gonsalves | Sept. 17, 2012
Domain contained a "staggering" 500 strains of malware hosted on more than 70,000 sub-domains

Microsoft estimates that 20% of the PCs its researchers bought from hacker-infiltrated supply chains in China were infected with malware. In addition, Microsoft found that Nitol malware could be spread through a USB flash drive, which is often used to share files between computers.

On Sept. 10, Microsoft received a restraining order from the Virginia federal court against suspected botnet operator Peng Yong, his company Changzhou Bei Te Kang Mu Software Technology, and as many as three John Does, according to court documents. The order allowed Microsoft to take over the domain and block the botnet operation. Security company Nominum assisted Microsoft in the takedown.

In March, Microsoft won court approval for seizing the servers of the Zeus botnet, which cybercriminals used to steal $100 million over five years through bank fraud and identity theft. Other botnets crippled or taken down by Microsoft over the last two years include Waledac, Rustock and Kelihos.



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