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Botnet Crime Microsoft Security Spam IT

Microsoft Conducts Massive Botnet Takedown Action 302

Posted by Soulskill
from the practice-for-fighting-skynet dept.
h4rm0ny writes "Microsoft, in cooperation with Federal agents, conducted what the Wall Street Journal described as 'sweeping legal attacks' as they entered facilities in Kansas City, Scranton, Pa, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Seattle and Columbus, Ohio to seize alleged 'command and control' machines for the Rustock botnet — described as the largest source of spam in the world. The operation is intended to 'decapitate' the botnet, preventing the seized machines from sending orders to suborned PCs around the world."
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Microsoft Conducts Massive Botnet Takedown Action

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  • by viablos (2018696) on Friday March 18, 2011 @08:56AM (#35528524)
    I think this shows that Microsoft cares about the internet. It's not really Microsoft's problem, but they still help to solve it. Fact is, you cannot change stupid people and they will get their computers infected no matter what. Windows 7 is just as secure as Mac OSX or Linux, but it's the users what is the problem. Good job Microsoft, for taking care of the internet.
  • by damicatz (711271) on Friday March 18, 2011 @08:56AM (#35528526)

    Since when do private corporations get to conduct raids and other police actions?

  • by ledow (319597) on Friday March 18, 2011 @09:05AM (#35528602) Homepage

    "It's not really Microsoft's problem, but they still help to solve it."

    Wiki says: The Rustock botnet (founded around 2006) is a botnet that consists of an estimated 150,000 computers running Microsoft Windows.

    It could be suggested that, at some level, it *IS* a Microsoft problem, in the same way that it would be Nintendo's problem if everyone's Wii suddenly started joining a botnet. Yeah, partly the user and partly the malware author, but also quite a bit the OS insecurity too.

  • by Phoshi (1857806) on Friday March 18, 2011 @09:08AM (#35528638)
    Except that you can have as much security as you want, but there'll still always be people who click yes to every message box because they want... I dunno, whatever the craze is these days. 100 free animated cursors or whatever. It's not the fault of people like us, who would know how to spot a botnet, it's the fault of people that don't know, and don't care. The same would happen on *nix if you had huge quantities of people who would give anything and everything root just because it asked. What MS really need to do is educate people - instead of an intimidating dialogue that says "DO YOU WANT TO ALLOW THIS YES | NO" there needs to be an explanation of the consequences.
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday March 18, 2011 @09:11AM (#35528676) Homepage

    How can you secure an OS against users who click "yes"?

    Windows is already a total pain in the butt trying to nanny/protect people but it's made no difference whatsoever to the amount of spam arriving here.

  • by Bert64 (520050) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Friday March 18, 2011 @09:13AM (#35528706) Homepage

    Sure, you cannot change stupid people but you can make it more difficult for their stupidity to be exploited...
    Similarly windows 7 may be better than previous versions, but it's no magic bullet and does nothing to remove all the existing old versions out there either...

    MS are directly responsible for many insecure design decisions and technologies which make it easier for malware, such things as hiding file extensions by default while relying on file extensions to determine executability, activex, allowing/encouraging users to run with admin privileges by default, having extremely complex network services (msrpc, netbios etc) running by default even on standalone workstations, making it simple to execute email attachments, using obfuscated file formats which make it easier for malicious code to hide, automatically executing programs when removable media is inserted, no centralised way to update third party applications... not to mention an os which is insanely complex and containing years and years worth of cruft giving huge numbers of places for bugs to hide and often making it more difficult to fix them.

    Sure, malware would still exist if linux or macos were the most common end user platform, but i don't believe the problem would be as serious as it is with windows.

  • by Buggz (1187173) on Friday March 18, 2011 @09:15AM (#35528722)

    What MS really need to do is educate people - instead of an intimidating dialogue that says "DO YOU WANT TO ALLOW THIS YES | NO" there needs to be an explanation of the consequences.

    If they don't care, they don't read it. For those people, any kind of message box is in the way of them getting to what they wanted to do and thus they click on YES just to get rid of the it.

  • by Bert64 (520050) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Friday March 18, 2011 @09:16AM (#35528734) Homepage

    Make cut down systems with limited functions aimed at end users (eg ipad), this will serve end users much better since they no longer have to worry about the complexity of a general purpose os...

    Advanced users can still use more complex computers, on the basis that advanced users are far less likely to fall for social engineering tricks, you don't see many such attacks aimed at people using a cli based unix system.

  • Too true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Friday March 18, 2011 @09:36AM (#35528932)
    I completely agree. For the great majority of users, computers have become just too complicated and confusing to operate, and the great majority of users are also stupid. Microsoft is part of the problem because, in its effort to gain consumer market share, it has just allowed those users to do far too much, in ignorance.

    The same thing happened with cars; when they were rare and and expensive, the people who bought them either employed someone to drive them or were sufficiently interested to learn to do it properly themselves. When the mass market really took off, driving licences followed, along with compulsory insurance. But, at the same time, the "user interface" got simplified and standardised.

    The iPad, or a laptop equivalent, is what most people actually want. But Microsoft's entire consumer business model is currently based around not giving it to them. It looks as if we are going to have to rely (currently) on Apple, HP and perhaps Motorola to come up with a reasonably secure solution to letting the monkeys into the banana plantation, since most of us are never going to be in a position to force them to use Windows 7 with a non-Administrator account.

  • Re:Too true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ciderbrew (1860166) on Friday March 18, 2011 @09:55AM (#35529114)
    I would mod you troll or flamebait for a comment like "great majority of users are also stupid"; but the rest of what you wrote is right. These people are not stupid, they just have interests other than computers. I've no idea what that may be; but they seem to have them.
  • Re:Too true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by recoiledsnake (879048) on Friday March 18, 2011 @09:59AM (#35529164)

    I completely agree. For the great majority of users, computers have become just too complicated and confusing to operate, and the great majority of users are also stupid. Microsoft is part of the problem because, in its effort to gain consumer market share, it has just allowed those users to do far too much, in ignorance.

    The same thing happened with cars; when they were rare and and expensive, the people who bought them either employed someone to drive them or were sufficiently interested to learn to do it properly themselves. When the mass market really took off, driving licences followed, along with compulsory insurance. But, at the same time, the "user interface" got simplified and standardised.

    The iPad, or a laptop equivalent, is what most people actually want. But Microsoft's entire consumer business model is currently based around not giving it to them. It looks as if we are going to have to rely (currently) on Apple, HP and perhaps Motorola to come up with a reasonably secure solution to letting the monkeys into the banana plantation, since most of us are never going to be in a position to force them to use Windows 7 with a non-Administrator account.

    I call BS. Anytime MS even tries to look at that route, Slashdot screams bloody murder.

    Read the comments:

    http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/16/2259257 [slashdot.org]
    http://it.slashdot.org/story/08/07/30/204241/Dual-Boot-Not-Trusted-Rejected-By-Vista-SP1 [slashdot.org]

    And the iPad comes with a 30% tax on developers and services like Netflix which they or users have to pay. Do you want a future where companies can reject their competitors' apps 'just because' ? See what happened to Google Voice on the app store, and how an Android magazine app was banned. Do you really want to go that route? There would be no Firefox or Chrome, or even podcast players for 'duplicating functionality' because that would confuse users.

  • Re:Too true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rm0ny (722443) on Friday March 18, 2011 @10:10AM (#35529264) Journal

    For the great majority of users, computers have become just too complicated and confusing to operate,

    I think a part of that is people just don't accept that they have to learn how to use a computer. If they actually accepted that maybe they couldn't just sit in front of this complicated piece of equipment and magically do everything, then perhaps they'd take a few moments to think or read about it and then it wouldn't be so complicated and confusing to them.

    There was someone extremely irritating at a place I worked some years ago, who asked me to help them line up the paragraphs in Word (some older version than the latest). After helpfully pressing a few buttons to line things up on the left again, accompanied by the cooing wonder of this ...person... and their inane comments of "oh, I'm so bad at computers", I made the mistake of pointing out the Help option in Word and saying: "you know, there's documentation on this. It would be worth taking an hour to read through it all.". Instant snappy nastiness ensued. I seemed to have called them a liar when they said that they were bad with computers and somehow implied that it was their fault. Goodness me! How dare I?

    If someone who uses Word every working day of their life can't be bothered to spend an hour (less, really) reading through a little bit of documentation or a tutorial, then what hope is there? Must we all suffer from locked down, dumbed down systems because some people expect everything in life to be super-easy?

    I see the point you're making. I fully understand it. But those of us who actually use our brains despise a looming future in a world where we're not able to because some people might injure themselves if they tried.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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