Some of the world’s most sophisticated cybercrime rings were disrupted when Microsoft Corporation confiscated several servers used to steal login names and passwords. The software maker said Monday that its cybercrime investigation group also took legal and technical actions to fight notorious criminals who infect computers with prevalent malicious software known as Zeus.
By recruiting computers into networks called botnets, Zeus logs the online activity of infected machines, providing criminals with credentials to access financial accounts.
“We’ve disrupted a critical source of money-making for digital fraudsters and cyber thieves, while gaining important information to help identify those responsible and better protect victims,” said Richard Boscovich, senior attorney for the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, which handled the investigation in collaboration with the financial industry.
Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit has claimed several victories in this war on cybercrime. This unit is a worldwide team of investigators, lawyers, analysts and other specialists who fight cybercrime. A year ago they helped U.S. authorities take down a botnet known as Rustock that had been one of the biggest producers of spam e-mail. Some security experts estimated that in its heyday Rustock was responsible for half the spam in junk email bins.
Microsoft said although this is not a fatal blow to Zeus it did damage the operations and infrastructure of the botnets, gathered information to identify the criminals and help find and rescue some infected machines. The company said that U.S. marshals helped it seize servers Friday at hosting centers in Scranton, Pa., and Lombard, Ill., after it won a court order from a U.S. District judge in Brooklyn, New York.
Microsoft said the team had also shut down some channels criminals were using to communicate with infected machines and had begun monitoring other parts of the infrastructure.
Linda Webb, the Fraud Dog, is glad to see these fraudsters shut down. Cybercrime is out there and affects everyone. The Fraud Dog reminds you to be vigilant of your online accounts and activities and to protect and change your passwords often to make it harder for these cyber fraudsters.
If you are in need of fraud investigation services, contact Contego Services Group today. Under the leadership of Linda Webb, The Fraud Dog, Contego has the knowledge and expertise to help you resolve your fraud case. Whether it’s mortgage fraud, insurance fraud, workers compensation fraud or any other type of fraudulent activity, Contego and The Fraud Dog will work together to help you and your company. For more information, call 1-855-WE-SWARM today.