Largest Spam Source Shut Down

For long suffering internet usersthis is a little light at the end of the tunnel.    The close cooperation between Microsoft andthe USMarshalls is likely a harbinger of things to come.  Effective strategies to end this plague maywell be on the way.  Tossing the perps injail is certainly a good start and will plausibly send the small fry packing.

No one objects to legitimate advertisingor even targeted advertising if only because sometimes you want to be thetarget.  The spammer’s only clients areobviously criminal fronts for all sorts of doubtful product and free intrusive advertisingis their only way of penetrating the market. Besides, I am getting tired of hitting the delete button every day todispose of another Viagra offer or Nigerian fraudster.

Of course the worst aretransmitting out of country and we have to try harder with them.

The only reason I control commentaccess on this blog is to block multiple spam attempts which do appear at timesand they never quit in their efforts to bypass defenses.

World's biggest source of spam email shut down

The world's most prolific source of spam emails has been shut down in aseries of coordinated raids by Microsoft and US federal authorities.

Three Spanish men with 'limited' hacking experience are believed to bebehind the vast Mariposa botnet Photo: CLARE KENDALL

By Christopher Williams, Technology Correspondent 6:20PM GMT 18Mar 2011

The Rustock botnet, an international network of virus-infectedcomputers, had for years generated billions of emails per day, promotingunlicensed online pharmacies and cut-price impotence pills.

But on Wednesday, security firms noticed email traffic from Rustockcompletely collapsed. It has now been revealed that Microsoft, backed by USMarshals acting on a court order, seized servers that it's estimated covertlycontrolled almost a million Windows PCs.

“We think this has been 100 per cent effective," said RichardBoscovich, senior attorney in Microsoft's digital crimes unit, according to theWall Street Journal.

The servers were rented from commercial internet hosting firms acrossthe Mid West, who were apparently unaware of their role in Rustock. These"command and control" servers would issue instructions to infectedhome and business PCs worldwide.

The criminals behind the spamming business were named in Microsoft’slawsuit only as “John Does 1-11”. To get the court order, which empowered it toseize equipment and so "decapitate" the botnet, Microsoft alleged theJohn Does infringed its trademarks in some of their emails.

The scale of the shut down is unprecedented. A report last month bySecureWorks, a computer security firm, said Rustock was the world's biggestsource of spam.

“The reasons for this are due to the author’s relentless development ofstealth tactics,” it said, referring to how Rustock was frequently updated tostay one step ahead of anti-virus packages.

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